A Laptop Naptime Mama

Monday, March 26, 2007

Ola, Adios, Chakka Lakka Ketchup

Since our two week trip to Spain last month, Benny has decided he’s fluent in Spanish. Between the occasional recognizable words like “Ola,” “Adios,” “Si,” and “Non,” his “Spanish” goes something like “chakka lakka, biokka, schniakka, hebakka, triakka.” Benny is very proud of his new language and even has a little “Spanish” song which he likes to sing while jumping, his blonde locks flying and his arms flailing, on our bed. The song, I think, is entitled, “Chakka Lakka ketchup, chikka lakka ketchup.” (The insertion of the word ketchup into the song, I can only think, is due to high quantity of fries and ketchup he ate while in Spain – indeed, fries and ketchup were the only thing he would eat while in Spain)

Of course, for a doting parent, Benny’s new linguistic abilities are most endearing. I find nothing more amusing, in fact, than conducting a conversation with Benny in his newly acquired language.

Me: “Chikka splaka?”

Benny: “Smakka criakka.”

Me. “Biukka, mischnukka, triakka.”

Benny: “Priakka, hyuuka.”

Me: “Non?”

Benny: fit of giggles

Me: fit of giggles

All such conversations are coupled with animated hand gestures and excited nods of the head or rolling of the eyes. It is very amusing.

It is not so amusing, however, when Benny’s new language leaves the safety of our apartment and strays out into the world. I discovered this yesterday while walking with Benny through Chinatown (just a couple of blocks from us). Benny was in the middle of climbing into his stroller – walking 3 small blocks had really taken it out of him?! – and an old Chinese-American lady stopped to watch him. She smiled and clucked and waved toward Benny saying something neither of us could understand. Benny looked up at the kind old lady and was silent for a few beats. Then with a grin, he said, “Chakka lakka schniakka.” I immediately blushed. Did the woman think that Benny was doing some mocking rendition of her mother-tongue?

Thankfully, the woman just smiled and nodded and then carried on her way. Meanwhile, I whisked off in the other direction wondering how I will explain to Benny that his “Spanish” might be something we only speak at home from now on.

For more of Joanne Rendell's mommy blogs - including "Fishing for Poo," "Should Mommy's Wear Thongs?" and "What's that dangly thing between his legs?" then Click Here to visit her at the popular website, Get Crafty or to visit her brand new author blog (since she just got a book deal!) Click Here. To return to the Role Mommy home page, Click Here.


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