International Day: Week 4 (Mexico)

Since we eat tacos, burritos, and enchiladas on a regular basis in our house, I wanted to make something that was perhaps more authentic. I found a recipe for pork carnitas that sounded (and looked) delicious, so I tried it out.

Mostly it was a success. I served the pork more or less as shown in the video linked to above: on slightly fried corn tortillas with chopped avocado, salsa, and lime wedges. I didn’t do cilantro because we don’t care for it, and I did put cheese, sour cream, and tomatoes out for those who wanted them.

We talked about Spanish (Lego has had some exposure to it thanks to Dora and Diego), found Mexico on our new-to-us globe (thanks, Granny and Grampy!), looked at some pictures of Grandma O’s trip to Mexico last spring, listened to some Mexican music on youtube, and talked about Cinco de Mayo and Dia de los Muertos. I wanted to make a Mexican dessert too, but I had made gingerbread earlier in the day and just didn’t have the energy by the time dinner was over. Maybe in a day or two. We’ll see.

Language explosion

In the past few weeks, Duplo has had a major breakthrough in terms of speech. He had made almost no noticeable progress since he turned one—and he’s now eighteen months old. I wasn’t really worried because he seemed fine developmentally in other ways, and because he did have a “vocabulary” of about twenty words or so if I was generous and included words he used once a week or more (and to be fair, a lot of them fell into that category). I was more concerned that for a long time, he wouldn’t point to objects, or even people, when we named them; he seemed to understand about as much as he said, which wasn’t much. Again, he seemed to fit the textbook definition of how a toddler should be progressing, but Lego had been such a talkative little guy that Duplo’s development was surprising.

About two or three weeks ago, though, Duplo started learning about ten words a day, and using the words he already knew much more often. After about a week of that, he started stringing words together—all done, there (you) go, uh oh car, etc.—something Lego didn’t do until he was about four months older than Duplo is now. He talks often now and tries to learn the words we are using if he doesn’t already know them. His pronunciation isn’t perfect, naturally, but it’s good enough that we’re not usually struggling to understand him. Anyway, I guess it’s proof that every child develops differently. They gotta keep their parents guessing, I suppose.