There probably comes a fleeting pang of sadness mixed with pride in every father’s life when he realizes that his child is now better than himself in any given skill. For me, it happened for the first time when our baby was just 11 months old.
All my life, I have never been able to roll an “r” sound. This is despite five years of continual attempts to do so while learning German, and despite a lifetime of trying unsuccessfully to flutter-tongue while playing the saxophone. I simply cannot make my tongue move that way. It may be a hereditary thing; neither of my parents nor my sister is capable of doing it.
So, you can imagine my surprise when about a month ago, he just suddenly started rolling “r” sounds constantly. We’re not really sure where he picked this up. My wife majored in Spanish and has no problem with the rolled “r,” but she never really did it around him. The only place I can think of as to where he might have picked it up stems from the coincidence that he started doing it at almost exactly the same time as the start of the 2008 Mexican Apertura soccer season. I occasionally put random games on Univision, Telefutura, etc. on the TV, with the announcers of course calling the play-by-play in Spanish.
No matter where he learned it, I have quickly had to face the fact that my one year-old infant is already better than me at something.