a mouthful

A one-handed stander. She knows how tough she is.

Months ago, at the ends of her newborn sneezes, I used to listen for that fleeting hint of what her voice would someday sound like.

At her last checkup, I mentioned to her doctor how quiet she still was. That she did coo and babble. But it seemed like not very often.  I was inclined not to worry about it, I told the pediatrician. But should I?

She thought not.

And now Alice more or less wakes up chattering. A Morse code of daht daht dahts

She inflects.

Grumbling sometimes, other times raising her pitch at the end of a long, bubbling stream of baby syllables as though she has a question. She whispers and she yells.

I wonder what she thinks she is telling us.

What does she think we are telling her?

 It is hard to say. We do the things we are supposed to do. We talk. We listen. We read. We point. We label. We explain. We repeat.

“Are your ready for your bath? Do you hear the agua? There’s the agua!”

 I kind of think she understands da-da.

This we know for sure: Say to her, “Alice, where’s the gata?”

She will look all over for a cat.


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