What it’s like to be a kid: Marcos and Irene
Marcos and Irene are the grandchildren of my mama here in Segovia. Marcos is eight years old and Irene is seven. They are full of energy and love to learn. They are very similar to the kids in the United States with a few exceptions of course. Whenever they come for a visit, it is such a wonderful experience because it reminds me of my little sisters and nieces and nephews. I have learned a little more about the Spanish life after seeing it through the eyes of these two kids.
What is your house like?
Their house is new, well new to them. Their family just moved to another town in Madrid because of their parents jobs. They have a TV room, which they also use as a play room. They do not watch much TV, but instead they spend their time doing other things.
They have a dining room and kitchen along with a laundry room. The laundry room does not have a dryer though, in order to dry their clothes here if the weather is good their clothes hang outside in order for the sun and or wind to dry them. Can you imagine this? Or does your mom do this to?
Then they have their bedrooms and their parents’ bedroom. The houses here are not very big as I explained in an older post. Normally they are only one floor, but that seems to be enough space and this way they are able to spend more time with their family and here in Segovia family is very important no matter what age you are.
What do you eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner?
Marcos likes to eat a hardboiled egg for breakfast and juice along with it. Irene on the other hand, enjoys toast with jam and butter and fruit.
Lunch is the largest meal here, so there is a lot more food during this time. Both of these kids enjoy paella. Do you remember when I first described this dish? The one with rice and vegetables? If not it is in my post about food! Anyways, in addition to this Irene loves salads. Her salads have peppers, carrots, corn and avocados on them. Can you believe a seven year old loves salad and all these vegetables? Do you even like these things? They both also love bread! Bread here is the most popular food eaten. It is served with every meal and the people including the kids love it. As for desert they love strawberries with whip cream on top. It’s crazy when they think about food; chocolates and candy did not come to mind. What do you think about that? Kids that do not think of chocolate as a desert, crazy, right?
Dinner foods are very similar to those of lunch. The portion sizes just are not as big. A typical dinner favorite is pizza with fries and for desert more fruit. Fruit here is as sweet as our deserts in the United States, so no wonder the kids enjoy them for desert! Could you switch chocolate cake or brownies for strawberries and kiwi?
What chores do you have at home?
Irene helps set the table for meals. The two kids have to make their beds every morning too; if they are not made they are not allowed to leave the house. For some reason this chore is very important to the mothers. I don’t even make my bed when I am home, so this would be very difficult for me to do.
What jobs do your parents have?
Their father works for a bank in Madrid, but it is connected to France somehow. Their mother works at the same place, but in a different department. Their mom also gets off earlier so that she is home when school gets out.
What time does school start, and what time do you get home?
Their classes start around ten and they get home around four in the afternoon.
What do you eat for lunch and where do you eat? What is your favorite food?
During the week the two kids eat at school, just like you all in their schools cafeteria. Their food is not very good; it is reheated in the microwaves and normally bread with lunch meat and fruit. They do not like it at all! Do you agree? Or do you like your schools lunches?
Irene’s favorite food is fruit. It does not matter what kind, she loves them all. Marcos on the other hand loves chocolate. Anything that is chocolate he wants to eat. Does that sound familiar?
What language do you speak at school? How do you say “Hello” in your language?
Normally, Spanish is spoken in their classes. However, there are certain days when all of their classes will be taught in English. For example, normally every Tuesday all of their teachers will speak in English. This way the students can learn the language and will be able to communicate better with the world around them.
Irene and Marcos also both understand French. When I found out that an eight year old and seven year old knew three languages I was shocked! I am twenty-one years old and am just now learning how to fluently speak my second language. Can any of you understand three languages like these two kids?
Hello in Spanish is “Hola” and in French is “Bonjuer.”
What are the common names of kids at your school?
There are many kids in their school and many have different names, but Susanna and Maria are the most popular girl’s names. The most popular boy’s names are Pedro and Fernando. Do you know anyone by these names?
What subjects do you study in school, and which one is your favorite?
Their classes are the same as those taught in the United States. They have math classes, language classes which includes both English and Spanish and sometimes French, science classes and of course music. Neither of them have a favorite class, but they both really enjoy their instruments. Marcos plays the drums and piano and Irene just began playing the cello. Music is a large part of their life and Marcos just finished playing in one of his first concerts two weeks ago.
Can you imagine standing up in front of a large crowd playing your instrument at your age? Well he is only eight years old and has already performed more than once. He is a very talented boy.
What do you like to do after school? Do you have a favorite sport of game?
Marcos enjoys going to music lessons and playing soccer.
Irene does not have a favorite sport, but she enjoys making origami’s with her uncle whenever she can.
Who is your favorite famous person?
Marcos loves Cristiano Ronaldo. Do you know who that is? He is a famous soccer player for Madrid. Soccer here is the most popular sport so if you want to compare it to something in the United States it would be like a kid liking a famous basketball player.
What kinds of music to you listen to?
Irene likes to listen to Rihanna. American music and bands are very popular over here.
What would you like to be when you grow up?
Neither of them knew an answer to this question when I asked. They just laughed and turned away.
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
They both told me they would love to visit France again. Paris is their favorite place and they want to go back.
What do you know about the United States? What questions do you have for the kids in the United States?
They know that they speak English there and they know about President Obama as well. They also know about New York City, because their dad will tell them about it and how wonderful and beautiful all the buildings and the city is. Being only seven and eight years old they know what they’ve been taught by their parents, so they still have a lot to learn, but then again if I were asked this same question about Spain when I was little I would have had no idea.
They did want to know if the kids knew Spanish in the United States or if they played any sports or instruments. They wanted to know if they had any pets like dogs. They wanted to know if the kids loved fruit and ate it all the time like Irene does and what do they do for fun. Do they play games or spend time with their families?
I hope you were able to learn a little more about what it is like to be a kid here in Segovia. Every time Marcos and Irene come for a visit I feel like a kid again, because when their uncle teaches them how to make origamis, he also teaches me. It’s such a wonderful idea, because I believe to really understand the culture I’m living in Kids are the best examples.