Toddler Vocabulary

At breakfast this morning, Baby Harbat pointed to a magazine promo for People magazine and said, “Polar bear!”  It was actually Jennifer Aniston on the cover.  Then she saw a picture of elephants and said, “Walrus!  Walrus!”  Well, they were pretty abstract elephants, and she was seeing the picture at an angle.  She calls elephants, “apple-blah”.  Though she did correctly pronounce “peanut butter” when I made a PB&J for her dinner last night.  (She had pasta and chili for lunch!  So sue me!) 

Deciphering toddler talk takes time and context.  If we’re at the zoo and she runs up to a full-size fiberglass ground sloth statue, she’ll likely say, “Peanut butter”.  Because that it his name, she decided last time we went to the zoo.  When you’re a parent, you have to know these things.

Yesterday in a fit of excitement, she said, “Amaya gubburh tama inana kama tunna ear-ah Amaya!”   Other than her name used as subject (twice!) I didn’t understand a word.  “Really, that’s great!” I responded.  She laughed and ran off.  When in doubt, use enthusiasm and disbelief.

One final note on bread.  For the last two days I’ve been building a sourdough.  Sunday night I made the starter, Monday was the dough, and last night I baked it.  Earlier in the day, though, I promised to sell the bread to someone.  I suppose it’s like being a foster parent for a shelter animal, or perhaps a surrogate mother.  You raise your baby, care for it, then give it away with a tear and one final look back.  I’ll make another this week.  And it’ll be MINE!  ALL MINE!

See, I am learning something from my daughter.

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Writer, architect, father, husband.

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