Although I took Spanish in high school and even audited a course in college, it was quite obvious last week that I’d best brush up on it some more for my own good. The Sprouts take a Spanish immersion co-op class once a week. At first we all felt lost because we couldn’t understand much, but now that its been a few months everyone is feeling more comfortable. Even my smallest Sprout can communicate simple greetings, count to twenty, and say most of the basic colors in espanol. The rule is that only Spanish is spoken for the 45 minute class.
These last few weeks, we have been listening to St. Patrick’s Day stories in Spanish and at the end of class the kids have been working on “entrampments“. They were to bring a container to paint and decorate. Not only were they making something, but learning the Spanish words for green, gold, and so on. I thought that the teacher would tie in the craft with a leprechaun story on the week before St. Patrick’s Day and the kids would pretend to get gold or something along those lines. Oh. No. I didn’t realize we were making “traps” to take home and use to catch a leprechaun on Saturday night. When it finally dawned on me at the end of the class last week that this is what was going on, I decided that I was just going to tell them after class that leprechauns don’t exist. That is, until all of the other kids in the class started telling tales of trying to catch leprechauns in years past (they’ve been in this Spanish class for several years). My Sprouts were in awe and so determined to catch a little green man. Meanwhile, this mama was in shock. What? Another holiday to give them stuff? I know, I’m a scrooge. But I so dislike the commercialism of holidays. And I suppose I must live in a hole because I honestly have never heard of trapping leprechauns and giving your kids candy and the like on St. Patrick’s morning. Seriously, I guess I’d prefer to live in my hole!
So what did we do? We let them build their traps (they were quite ingenious if I do say so myself). And we told them that leprechauns are fun to imagine and think about but they are not real. We also read some great St. Patrick’s day books: St. Patrick’s Day by Gail Gibbons, Jamie O’Rourke and the Big Potato by Tomie dePaola, and Fiona’s Luck by Teresa Bateman. I love the lesson in the last line of Fiona’s Luck…..”Luck’s all well and good, but myself? I’d rather depend on my wits.” After all of that, one of the boys still didn’t believe us. He told us we were wrong because his friends had tried to trap leprechauns and they had cut a hole in her trap and made a mess. Well, on St. Patrick’s Day morning, they found their traps tripped. Inside was not a little green man but a note along with some beautiful crystals and stones that I found at our local beads and gems store downtown. It worked out well (whew). The Sprouts took it all in stride. Next time, however, I’m going to be sure I understand what is going on in Spanish class so I’m not entrapped again!