1. You feared the wrath of “la chancleta.” The phrase “time out” didn’t exist in your parents’ vocabulary. If you so much as blinked the wrong way at your mom, you knew you better run before she came running after you with her sandal in hand.
2. You had your ears pierced when you were a baby. Looking put together is something you learned at a very young age and you never quite understood why your gringo friends had to wait until they were 16 to get their ears pierced.
3. Birthdays meant only one thing: Cake de merengue. Also known as Cuban cake or Dominican cake, they were filled with either a natilla or pineapple filling. And there was always that one person who tired to stick your face in the cake.
4. You heard “Sana, sana, colita de rana” every time you hurt yourself. A scraped knee was always met with a cute little rhyme that magically made all the pain go away.
5. Gathering around the TV to watch a telenovela was a nightly ritual at your house. And you didn’t mind because watching Thalia in Marimar was pure magic.
6. There was a room in your house where you were never allowed to sit in. That perfectly good couch in the living room was not to sit on, especially if it had a plastic cover on it.
7. You’ve been drinking café con leche since you were a toddler. Forget Cap’n Crunch. Coffee with milk and pan con mantequilla was (and still is) the breakfast of champions.
8. A cafetera was the best way to make coffee. And it still is!
9. Your mom forced you to wear a sweater outdoors even if it wasn’t cold. A lightly windy day had all the makings of the flu, according to your mom.
10. Every family member always knows someone who knows someone. Need a mechanic? Tio knows a guy who works with a guy who knows a guy who is a mechanic that can do an oil change for mad cheap.
11. You had to greet everyone with a kiss on the cheek. Going to a family gathering or visiting your tia’s house was always an anti-social child’s worst nightmare.
12. Sabado Gigante was your Saturday Night Live. You wished you could meet Don Francisco and had the chance to perform on stage like all the superstar kids.
13. When your parents were angry at you, they called you by your full name. If your mom called you Maria Alejandra, then you knew you were in real trouble.
14. You fixed everything with Vick’s Vapor Rub. Have a cold? Rub some “VICK-VAH-POH-ROO” on your chest. Have a mosquito bite? Dab a little Vicks on it.
15. Primer Impacto was your news source. And the adults always had ownership of the control whenever it was on.
16. Teresa was your favorite Barbie Doll. Forget Malibu Barbie. Teresa was the one who resembled you the most because of her brown hair and tan skin.
17. Being called “gorda” or “flaca” was a term of endearment. Even if you weren’t chubby, being called fat was perfectly normal.
18. Your quinceñera was the most important day of your life. You planned your big day ever since you were eight years old. Your dress had to be pouffy perfection. Your compañero or dance partner had to be cute if you were going to dance with him in front of everyone you know. Also, a preliminary photo shoot was utmost important — How else is every one of your relatives going to get a picture of you wearing your dress hung up on their living room wall?
19. You also danced in all of your friends quinceñeras. Choreography practice was a pretty big deal and often took over your entire social calendar months before the main event.
20. Sleepovers were NEVER allowed. Your parents let you visit, but they didn’t quite understand why you had to sleepover a strangers home. You also envied all the girls in movies who had sleepovers with their friends.
21. You always smelled like baby cologne. You weren’t clean until you were drenched in colonia. Also, you’re a liar if you say you still don’t dab on a little Royal Violets.
22. You always met a new relative you never knew existed at every family gathering. You have more aunts, uncles, and cousins than you can count.
23. Your abuela’s greeting was always “¿tienes hambre?“ For some reason abuela’s always think you’re hungry even after you already ate.
24. The holiday season was never over until Día de los Reyes. While all your friends were taking down their Christmas trees, you were waiting for more gifts from the three kings. Also, eating rosca de reyes or king’s cake was a must.
Related: 15 Signs You’re Hispanic