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Owl’s Well That Ends Well

July 23rd, 2010  |  by  |  Published in Uncategorized

After almost three weeks on the road—Austria, Morocco, Spain, you know, the usual—I’ve just returned to New York and my much-missed family. This morning, as I walked into Sasha’s room to get her up, I mentally prepared to be ignored. After all, while I was gone, she’d apparently taken to using the word “Daddy” to refer to my wife, a random guy on the sidewalk, and, often, racks of clothes.

Instead, her first word to me this morning was—get ready—”Owl!” In each hand, she held a small stuffed owl, her latest gifts from, I think, our ex-nanny. And Sasha was eager to discuss them: “Owl,” she said. “Owl. Owl. Owl. Owl. Owl. Owl. Owl.”

But soon, as I changed her diaper, she switched to something more affecting: “Daddy.”

Such a nice word to hear, especially when it’s directed at me. She pointed, she squeaked, she spoke—and she didn’t stop. This kid is talking, man. It’s so different from before, when it was all nonsense syllables. Now it’s word after word after word, sometimes approaching a full sentence, à la “This is food,” which she said while we were reading “Happy Hannukah, Corduroy!,” one of her favorite books. (She likes to pretend to eat the latkes, and to make me do the same thing.)

Would I have noticed this dramatic change if I’d been here the past 17 days? I don’t know. Or: Maybe it’s not actually so dramatic after all. Maybe it’s only because I was away that her development seems to have accelerated. In any case, it’s pretty exciting, but for now it’s all the excitement I can take. If all goes well, I’ll be home for the next six weeks, and can enjoy the usual slow, normal pace of her changes like any other father.

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