About La Mother Tongue

La Mother Tongue is my medium to share the joys and challenges of being a new parent as well as to share how we make a conscious effort in our daily life to bring baby up bilingual.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


The Z, in the majority of the Spanish-Speaking world, is pronounced identical to the S as in Sam. It is often a dead give-away in distinguishing between native and non-native Español speakers. There is a very large section of Spain that pronounces the Z like a TH, but that is an entirely different discussion. I assume that if you don’t know what zapatos means, you can take a guess because you probably have seen something from Zappos.com. My students used to use that association in order to remember the word for shoe. Clever, just didn’t expect it to come from nine year old boys. We bought Sofía new zapatos. Who are these thieves that got together to form the King Z Monopoly to screw parents of toddlers into paying $40 for a pair of zapatos that will only fit for three months at best? I read all over the internet that beginning walkers need to have soft flexible zapatos and that going shoeless as much as possible is really the best in the beginning. Once the baby can walk well and run and jump, then the soles can become more stiff, or less flexible. (Sorry, I don’t even have a link as to where I got that info.) So our Target zapatos worked marvelous at first, but Sofía really needs a zapato with a thicker sole. We walk outside on the pavement a lot and her other zapatos are getting worn out. I couldn’t find thicker yet flexible soles at Target. Believe me, I checked. So we went to Stride Rite. I had a déjà vu moment and felt like I was in the Montgomery Ward Zapato section trying on my Hush Puppies again. We originally were only looking for some sandalias with covered toes and places to let air pass through, but we ended up buying los tenis and sandalias. Sofía did NOT like to have anyone else touch her feet. She cried when the person tried to measure her and put her foot in the zapatos. She wouldn’t even say hello to the person later either! When she was trying out the new zapatos, she threw her soft pretzel on the floor, signed, “I’m finished!” and took off out the door! I’m sure when she’s 15 that won’t be happening and I’m going to wish she would be finished with zapato shopping, so I’m just going to appreciate it now while I can.

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