Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Just say no

Usually the first thing anyone asks when inquiring about my daughter is: "How old is she now?" It's the same whether I'm talking to a close friend or the check out girl at Wal-Mart.

I suppose it's understandable that only my immediate family keeps count of the number of months Emily has accumulated in her lifespan. And I know from experience that it can be hard to guess kids' ages. It's not a stupid question, and it never gets tiring talking about my daughter — even if it is only to mention her age.

What I find interesting is that you can tell which people don't have children of their own because they don't know where to go from there.

When I answer that Emily is 19 months old, someone without kids will ask: "Is she saying any words yet?"

Saying words? Ppffff! She's more than a year and a half old —' she's been saying words for about eight months! She knows more than 30 words!

Emily's favorite word lately is "no." It doesn't matter what you ask her, the answer will be "no."

"Emily, are you hungry?"


"Do you want to play at the park?"


"Do you love Daddy?"


She doesn't mean no, of course; she just knows that it's the answer to a question. So since we know how she's going to answer, we've had to get creative with the way we ask questions.

"Emily, do you want to stay in that wet diaper?"


"Are you planning on throwing your peas on the floor?"


"Is there anyone you love more than Daddy?"


I feel so clever to have outsmarted my 19-month-old kid.

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