Your priorities change when you become a parent, including how you spend your money.
Upon receiving an e-mail from my former study abroad director in Madrid announcing her annual trip to the States, I rushed to hit the reply button with my por-favor-te-puedo-encargar-un-par-de-cosas (translation: my wish list).
But, this time my wish list did not include una bolsa de tres kilos de chuches y una botella de vino y copias de mis revistas favoritas, all for me.
This time, I made a list of books and music in Spanish for E.
Sure, educational materials in Spanish abound in the United States, but the language is often a poor translation from English, or the Spanish is a version we don’t use at home. And, since I’m the primary caretaker and primary input for my daughter, I was eager to freshen up our collection of libros y música.
So, off to http://www.amazon.es I went, scrolling through the best-sellers, making my list and checking it twice.
I even did a search for libros on some of my favorite blogs from España to find out what those mamás were reading with their hijos.
Besides the azafrón and kikos that D. requested, and the cerveza Cruzcampo for my dad, here’s what Ani, a.k.a. Santa, brought us:
This book – Cómo Hablar para que los Niños Escuchen y Cómo Escuchar para que los Niños Hablen – not because I felt like I had to read this particular parenting book per se, but because, like I wrote about in this post, I want to build my parenting language in Spanish.
Lee, Canta y Juega con Babyradio. This Spanish radio website and podcast is one of our favorites. When I found out that they have a book of stories and accompanying songs for eating breakfast, making lunch, brushing your teeth, and other rutinas diarias, I added it to my wish list. Now E. has a soundtrack for her day!
Santa also brought this classic for my “digital native” and this one because you can’t start your day without besos. And, this one because, well, weren’t we all afraid at one time of monstruos under our beds?
Finally, this collection of canciones infantiles by the ever timeless Rosa León, who sang many a child – including D. – to sleep in the 70s and 80s in Spain.
My favorite song on the album – Los Cochinitos (the little piggies). A song about sueños, dreams.
Los cochinitos ya están en la cama
muchos besitos les dió su mamá
y calientitos todos con pijama
dentro de un rato los tres roncarán.
Y así soñando sin despertar
los cochinitos pueden jugar
ronca que ronca y vuelta a roncar
al país de los sueños se van a pasear.
So, Gracias, Ani, for the goodies, and of course, for the visita. It was so very good to see you.
You know, Ani, yo nunca habría soñado 15 years ago, that I – this American foreign exchange student you met en el edificio B of the Complutense University – would go on to marry un madrileño, have una hija, and raise her bilingually.
I also never would’ve dreamt that my priorities could change so much. For that, gracias, E.