Monday, October 5, 2009

Uno, Dos, Tres

There has been some language confusion in our home.

Until last week, it wasn't something I gave much thought to...other than giving a gentle correction from time to time. Now I'm seeing raised eyebrows and fearing being accused of cultural insensitivity.

Lily must be learning how to count in Spanish at preschool. Now she is aware of language and the fact that there is more than just our own.

The problem is that she for the longest time kept thinking that we spoke Spanish and everyone else spoke English. Somehow in trying to correct that, all was lost.

Now any other language that is foreign to her is simply called "uno, dos, tres".

The other evening we went for dinner at a Japanese hibachi place and later followed it with a trip to the Dollar Tree...extremes, I know.

Our table chef was really good at interacting with Lily, but between the noise of the restaurant and his thick accent, she could not understand him. During one interaction she was left puzzled and unsure of what he had said. And then in the most accusatory manner, she asks him, "Are you speaking in Uno, Dos, Tres?" Thankfully he didn't hear her and no knives were accidentally tossed in our direction.

Later at the Dollar Tree, there was another language incident. There was a family behind us in line that was speaking neither Spanish nor Japanese. I didn't realize that Lily was listening intently to their conversation. When out of the blue I hear, "I CAN'T understand a word you are saying! Are you speaking UNO, DOS, TRES?!?", again in an accusatory manner.

Oh my. Thankfully, Jerry whisked her away quickly and our minivan became a cultural sensitivity classroom for the ride home.

She is one that speaks her mind...and my mom is always quick to remind me that I did the same thing at her age (and still do!), so I'm sure many more embarrassing payback moments are in store for me. At least I've already got the bald man situation under my belt.

If you want to read about other things kids have been saying this week, head over to Tiny Talk Tuesday at Not Before 7.


Tammy said...

Gotta love those moments:)

I am actually going to be starting Spanish with my little one this fall. She is pretty excited. She notes too when we are around other people who aren't speaking English. Now she just may learn what it is they are talking about:) That could be good or bad!

Christina said...

it sounds like lily is hilarious (along with all your previous posts). she makes me smile even when i have had a few hours of sleep :)

H-Mama said...

That's priceless, Kerry.
Hibachi and Dollar Tree... 2 of my faves.

Amy@My Front Porch said...

Kids are so funny! Someday you'll probably be reminding her of this story while she tells you about her outspoken daughter :)

AnnG said...

All the different languages around us can be very confusing to little ears. I remember when my oldest son was young he did the same thing. Every language he didn't understand was "spanish".

Rachelle said...


Jennifer Rutherford said...


This post has me laughing so hard I'm crying. And between the crying and laughing I had to read this aloud to John.

I love it! Too funny! I can just see Lily accusing these people of uno, dos, tres! ;)

Thanks for the laugh!

Davene said...

Uno, Dos, Tres - that's hilarious! What a funny girl (even when she's not meaning to be). :)

Nishant said...

it sounds like lily is hilarious (along with all your previous posts). she makes me smile even when i have had a few hours of sleep :)
Work From Home

Mary@notbefore7 said...

OH MY GOODNESS! That is so funny! Uno Dos Tres...what a language :)

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