I know I shouldn’t be upset when Weevy correctly says a word she’s been pronouncing wrong from the get-go. But when she said “Gymboree” instead of “Doo-doo-dwee” the other day, my heart broke just a little bit. I mean, I don’t want her going into high school saying “shoo-shoo” instead of “scooter” or “ah-ice” for “ices” or what I could swear is “Jar-Jar Binks” for “jelly beans.” But my little girl is growing up, goddammit, and doing so just a little faster than I’d like her to.
Now that Weevy is a chatterbox who rarely stops talking — even if it’s just stuff like pointing out various parts of our cat’s anatomy (“Ears! Eyes! Mouth! Nose! Tail!”) — it’s funny to think about when she first started talking. I know I’m supposed to remember whether her first word was “Mama” or “Dada.” I assume it was one of the two. But the first word I remember her saying was “duck,” in reference to the rubber duckie she played with in the bathtub. I was so excited that she’d learned a word I tried to get her to learn a second one.
“This is a duck. Can you say ‘duck’?”
“Very good! Now, this is a ball. Can you say ‘ball’?”
Hey, it was a start, right?
Before long, she’d added “dog” to her repertoire, in honor of her favorite stuffed animal, which she told us was named Dog. And it was pretty much the only word she used for a while. For some reason, one of my foremost memories of Weevy as a baby (as opposed to the mature 2-year-old she is now) is from last October, right around Halloween. Pumpkins were everywhere, and Weevy had decided she loved pumpkins. She couldn’t see a pumpkin without stopping to pet it. (She also loved petting squash, gourds… anything that vaguely resembled and felt like a pumpkin. I don’t get it either.)
Anyway, one day I was pushing her stroller across the street on 73rd and Columbus. As we neared our local corner grocery, she started bouncing up and down in the stroller, screaming “Dog dog dog dog dog!!!” I started looking around for a dog, but it turned out she was pointing at the pile of pumpkins they had for sale outside.
Some people say “Cool,” some people say “Awesome.” Weevy’s catch-all word for something she liked was “dog.” And as far as I’m concerned, that’s pretty damn… dog.