Baby Talk

Tonight, during his nightly walk with Robin, Sam bought a packet of Pepperidge Farm cookies from our corner grocery store. He set them on a countertop when he came in, but Robin wasn’t fooled. My son knew exactly what was in that package, and he knew he wanted it, nevermind that he hadn’t had his dinner yet. He stood there underneath the cookies, pointing and saying “dee da? ba ba ba!”

“All right,” I said cruelly, “if you can tell me what you want, I’ll let you have one. Say ‘cookie.’ If you can say ‘cookie,’ I’ll give you one.”

“Ehn!” said Robin, pushing up on his tiptoes and stretching out his hands.

“‘Cookie,'” I repeated, heartlessly.

“Ehn!” said Robin. “Ehn!” And then he managed it! He grabbed the cookies! He pulled them off the counter and hugged them to his chest!

Then what did he do? He brought them to me, and laid them deliberately in my lap. “Dja!” he exclaimed.

I gave in. I opened them up and I gave him a cookie. It wasn’t English, but I couldn’t pretend I didn’t know what he was saying.

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