Bilingual is Better

At the end of last year, our nanny announced she was going back to Mexico. I thought I was going to die. Going back to work full-time when my son was barely 8-months-old had not been easy, but I thought we’d won the lottery when we met our nanny and at least I was able to work knowing that both my children were in good and loving hands.

While I completely understood her reasons for going back home, I was devastated and searched in vain for her replacement. One day, as I was about to lose all hope, she told me about the wife of a nephew of hers, a young woman, also from Mexico, who was looking for a job, but who didn’t really have a ton of experience working with children. Because I was at wit’s end and because I obviously trusted her judgement, I decide to go ahead and meet this young woman.

Long story short, she’s been with us for almost eight months and we couldn’t be happier. Besides the fact that she is utterly amazing with our children – she has a ton of energy! – I have also been pleasantly surprised by all the stuff she’s taught them… in Spanish. While she is bilingual, our nanny got here as a teenager, so her first language is Spanish – and that surely makes me happy!

Yesterday, as we were on our way to the mountains, Vanessa started signing out of the blue. None of the songs she sang were ones I’d taught her nor where they ones I remembered from her children’s CD’s in Spanish. She entertained all of us with her beautiful, little voice and when she was done, I asked where she’d learn them and she told me her nanny had taught her.

When we got back home, she showed me a notebook where our nanny had written out the lyrics to all the songs they like to sing together, some she has taught them, the others Vanessa already knew and apparently asked her to write them down.

Here’s a sample of the ones Vanessa sung for us last weekend:

Todas las mañanas cuando sale el sol

sale la gallina y se le ve el calzón.

Vienen los pollitos de Chapultepec

y el más pequeñito se parece a usted.

————

Allá en la fuente, había un chorrito

se hacia grandote, se hacía chiquito

estaba de mal humor

pobre chorrito tenía calor

And here’s a short little video of Vanessa singing:

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