I’m so busted! And busted on something that I wasn’t even aware I was doing: I had been taking advantage of my wive’s limited knowledge of Spanish to allow myself to get lazy in my parental discipline without her finding out about it.

Photo by atalou

Photo by atalou

I didn’t count on my beautiful lady’s brilliant mind and overlooked the fact that in these last 3 years that we’ve been parents together and I’ve been speaking Spanish around the house, she has developed an understanding of the language beyond my expectations. And that’s of course wonderful and admirable, but it sucks for me at times.

The other day, when we were all sitting in the porch and Gabriel was starting to fall into that whinny-tired-toddler zone where it becomes almost impossible to reason with him, I reached into the rich but poisonous treasure chest of false promises and I said to him in Spanish something about taking him to the park later, with the hope that this would quell the tantrum he was working up to.

And then I heard Mexican soap opera suspense music and turned my head to meet my wive’s piercing gaze. And she said to me:

“Don’t say it if you’re not gonna do it!”

(Second reference to The Sixth Sense in this blog:) I felt like Bruce Willis’ character in the Sixth Sense, except I hadn’t been dead this whole time (exhausted, yes)–I had been flapping my gums freely under the assumption that my wife didn’t know what I was saying.

On all counts, this is a great development: The language divide between me and my wife is narrowing; we’re all becoming a bilingual family. It’s just that if I want to be a lazy parent, now I’ll have to come up with a system of secret hand signals to bribe my boys.

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