Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Ladybug was holding puzzle pieces when the pediatrician walked into the patient waiting room for her two-year checkup last week.

“What do you have there?” he asked.

“Elephant,” Ladybug said, holding up one chunky wooden piece then lifting the other. “Monkey.”

“Normally people your age can say about 30 words,” the doctor said to Ladybug. “If you can say ‘elephant,’ I think you can say 30 words.”

And then some.

That night, my husband and I started listing all the words that Ladybug could say in English and French, easily hitting 75. Each day, a new word pops up in her vocabulary.

I’m always amazed when I hear a discernible word in Ladybug’s babble. To watch her name animals in a book and then make the correct moo or meow is nothing short of incredible. Hearing it come out in French is even more cool.

Watching her language develop has been one of my favorite parts of her growing up – the visible signs of Ladybug’s frustration when we don’t understand what she says, the glee when we do, the shared humor in an exchange of a few words.

The days she understands without effort, like during a visit to Sci-Port a few weeks back, are awesome to watch. On that particular day Ladybug was hogging a kid-size tractor, inviting other toddlers to sit next to her but not relinquishing the steering wheel. A particularly brazen little girl climbed into the cab, leaned across Ladybug and started driving.

“Why don’t you and the other little girl switch places so she can drive? I said to Ladybug, who dumbfounded me when she stood up and changed seats with the girl.
And then there was yesterday, as I held Ladybug in my arms and asked her, “Does Mommy love you?”

“Uh-huh,” she replied.

“Does Daddy love you?”


“Does Attitude (our cat) love you?”

Ladybug looked down sheepishly and shrugged her shoulders. She was remembering an incident the day before when she yanked Attitude’s tail. Attitude arched her back and hissed at Ladybug, chasing her off as she cried, “I’m sorry Tee-Tude! I’m sorry Tee-Tude!” Ladybug has been a little gun shy since, approaching Attitude with caution and a stream of apologies.

I stand back secretly smiling and watching it all in awe. To think that this little girl hugging my legs and smiling up at me is my daughter humbles me and makes me proud.

It’s only a matter of time now before Ladybug is speaking in full sentences, and to be honest, I can’t wait.


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