Winter with my “habibi”

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“Habibi” means beloved in Arabic.

Why “habibi,”? You ask. Although I’m not teaching my daughter Arabic, the sound of the word resembles her recent babbling. At 13 and a half months, nuestra pitufa está hecha una charlatana (she’s quite the talker!), babbling away non stop, mostly to the effect of “bee-bee-bee.”

And this latest linguistic development got me thinking. While rereading the recent posts on the blog, I noticed a pattern of interviews with others and research-based posts. So, I thought I’d pause mid-week to write a more personal post, to share what little E., my habibi, and I have been up to these last few weeks of winter.

Estamos (we are)…

Hibernando (Hibernating) –

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It’s been a frigid February here on the East Coast (USA), y se nos han quitado todas las ganas de salir fuera (“we haven’t felt like going outside”). Fortunately, we live in the heart of a kid-friendly city, within walking distance to libraries, an aquarium, a train museum, and other fun – and warm – places to pasar un rato divertido inside.

Balbuceando (Babbling) –

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Little E. is babbling sin parar! It’s amazing, especially to me as a linguist and language lover. D. teases me that I’ll start conducting longitudinal studies and composing paper abstracts about our daughter’s language development. But, I’m containing myself. For now. In all seriousness, as first-time parents raising our daughter bilingually, we’re anxious to hear E.’s first word. Will it be in English? Spanish?

Haciendo nuevos amigos (Making new friends) –

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Social. Gregarious. Friendly. Smiley. Daring. Fearless. In the words of my mother, “she’s a pistol.” In the words of D., “tiene mucho carácter; es pequeña, pero peleona.” Wherever we go, E. scoots around, arms outstretched, smiling at e.v.e.r.y.o.n.e. She has a natural inclination for making friends, and I love this quality about her.

Leyendo (Reading) –

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E. es mi pequeña lectora (“little reader”). Grabbing books left and right. On any given morning I’ll look away for medio segundo to prepare my coffee, only to turn around and find her surrounded by un hatajo de libros. She’s grabbed El Conejo Andarín and is reading – well, babbling – aloud, pointing as she goes.

Cantando (Singing) –

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Music is one of our favorites. Nos alegra los días. It’s how we start our mornings, which lately begin at 5:30 a.m. I connect my iPhone to the speakers in the living room and we shuffle to the kitchen, me in search of caffeine and E., well, to bailar with un libro (see above) and  ovejita and cigüeña (see below).

Nadando y salpicando (Swimming and splashing) –

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I recently purchased a one-month trial membership to a fancy-pants gym downtown so that we could use their saltwater pool for the last stretch of winter. Always kept at a toasty 94 degrees F, it provides us with a relaxing thirty minutes in between morning and afternoon naps. We like to splish and splash (E. can’t swim yet) and kick and swirl before we venture back into the snow and sleet and frío.

Caminando (Walking) –

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At 12 and a half months, E. was taking one step forward and two back. Start, stop. Start, stop. Now, at 13 and a half, ¡no hay quien la pare! (“She’s a walking machine.”)! I can’t wait for the warmer weather when we’ll be able to leave the stroller at home to caminar to the park.

Achuchando (Snuggling) –

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All the walking and babbling, not to mention the three (yes, three!) molars that have come in at the same time, have left my little pitufa un poquito más sensible. So, that’s meant a newfound attachment to ovejita and cigüeña (pictured above) and, lucky for me,  lots of snuggles.

Deseando (Longing) –

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Most of all, we are longing for spring. We would have lost hope had it not been for a recent trip to the city’s botanical gardens. The orchids and lemon trees reminded us that she is coming, sí, la primera llegará.

3 thoughts on “Winter with my “habibi”

  1. Hi there,

    it’s great that you write some sentences both in English and Spanish, it helps us learn new expressions.
    Btw, i think where you wrote ‘mi pequeña lectura’, you meant ‘lectora’ (reader), is it possible?
    I have a question if I may ask. What makes you want to share your experience with all of us?



    • Yes! “LectOra” is definitely what I meant to write. Thanks for catching the error. I’m glad that you appreciate my code-switching. I do it b/c it’s honestly how my brain works when I’m thinking, writing, and talking in English/Spanish and so I want the blog to be an honest reflection of my/my family’s language adventures.

      I also really appreciate your question of what motivates me to share my experience with bilingual parenting on the Internet. I’m doing it for a few reasons: 1) to chronicle my experience, sort of like a diary; it helps me process my experience 2) I want to leave something for my children 3) and to encourage others in a similar journey (I myself have learned so much from other blogs, so I hope to connect with others).

      Take care, Audrey


  2. Pingback: Ya llegó la primavera {Spring is here} | Españolita...¡sobre la marcha!

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