Dogs only speak Spanish and other lies
We told ourselves we were going to be good parents that never lied to our child about anything. Fantasy creatures that leave gifts on holidays? They just never came up. Some years AJ believed and some he didn’t. It was all alright. However, sometimes, AJ, in his toddler frustration, would get worked up about things that were so far outside of our control that it became a parent game to see who could diffuse the situation the fastest.
We never said we were great parents. We did say we had a lot of fun at Adrian’s expense in a non-hurtful manner. This is also where some of the best conversations arise in current day. Up until the LAST SIX MONTHS, and AJ is now 11 years old, AJ was under the mistaken impression that dogs only speak Spanish because Dora speaks spanish to her animals. This came about when AJ was 4 and his cats wouldn’t listen to him. In his frustration one day, he started crying and yelling that our cat at the time, Manna, wouldn’t pay attention. Either Leon or I (who really knows at this point because we are both equally at fault for perpetrating this lie) made the comment that animals only speak Spanish because look at Dora! She yells spanish at her animals and they listen and respond. At that age, AJ was learning his numbers in Spanish and would run around our house yelling, “UNO! UNO, MANNA!” when he was mad at her. Strangely enough, sometimes it worked and that was enough to reinforce the idea that animals only spoke Spanish.
As AJ got older, he began learning more Spanish and got dogs and, sure enough, yelling “Silencio!” at animals will make them look at you like you are crazy. This also reinforced the idea that animals can speak and understand English. AJ never questioned why the dogs and cats never answered him back because talking animals are just crazy.
Seven years later…AJ is upset with one of the dogs and I laugh and tell him that he’s not speaking in the right language. He turns to me with a withering glare and says, “MO-OM. Dogs don’t speak Spanish. They can’t understand Spanish.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes! Well, no, but…YES. They can’t speak Spanish.”
That’s all I need. That little bit of hesitation. He learned some French this year…wonder what we can do with that?
…No one told me that being a parent could be ridiculously funny. What is even more funny is that I see AJ cracking the same jokes and having the same sense of humor with his friends and it makes them laugh at the quirky way he behaves. If you can’t enjoy your children and embrace a trial such as parenthood with humor, you probably aren’t going to find all the little special moments that allow bonding beyond that typical authoritative style.
I love being a mom. I love that my laid-back son laughs with me. I love that he shakes his head at the things we both find funny. I love that who he is is someone I would love spending time with even if he wasn’t my kid.