Nellie’s vocabulary is starting to amaze us as well as a lot of people who meet her and find out how old she is. At her two year appointment, her pediatrician told me that her vocabulary is advanced by 6 months to a year.
This post isn’t about me bragging about my kid. I mean, it’s not TOTALLY me bragging about my kid. Promise.
Anyway, some of Nellie’s favorite words include “Spider-Man”, “Tangled”, “Princess”, and the most recently added, “Mine”. She can be heard demanding, “I do it!” or “Nellie do it!” when you attempt to get something for her, do something for her, put something on her or take something off of her. You get the picture. She’s independent. The other day, she was leaning into the bathtub trying to reach a toy mermaid inside. She was standing on tiptoe in nothing but a diaper, wiggling her little fingers as she tried to grasp the elusive red-headed seamaiden. She finally uttered in frustration, as clear as a bell, “I. CAN’T. REACH. IT.”
And I did a double-take, wondering when the hell my once 7 pound 2 ounce infant learned to express herself using clear, fully-formed sentences.
I attest Nellie’s prowess in all things lingual partly to the fact that Josh and I are always talking to her. When we shop, I talk to her. “Look at this apple, Nellie. Is this apple red? No, it’s green. Mommy needs to find some oatmeal. Where do you think the oatmeal is, Nellie?”
I talk to her when we drive. “Do sharks swim, Nellie? They do! What else swims? Do elephants swim? No, they don’t!”
One of the things I do every single day when I pick her up from school is ask her how her day went, and what she did at school that day. Generally, the conversation goes like this:
Me: “Nellie, did you have a good day at school?”
Nellie: “Mmm hmm!”
Me: “What did you do today?”
Nellie: “Ummm… I color. I paint. I play with Rocco.”
Me: “You colored, and painted, and played with Rocco? That’s awesome! Who else did you play with?”
Sometimes, I will ask her what she ate for lunch. Her response is usually, “ketchup”. Yum.
The other day I went by to pick her up as usual. I was walking out the door with her on my hip, asking her my routine questions.
Me: “Did you have a wonderful day at school?”
Nellie: “Uh… Yeah!”
We reached the car and I opened the door.
Me: “That’s great, Nellie! What did you do at school today?”
I’m sorry, what?
I froze midway through climbing in the car to get her into her seat.
Me: “I’m sorry. What did you do in school today?”
Nellie: “Cocaine! Cocaine mama!”
I looked at my little girl for a moment. I contemplated what to do. Should I go back in the school, demanding to know where exactly I signed in my enrollment paperwork that my child is permitted to have illegal substances with her milk and cookies? Should I go straight to the police? Should I have her admitted to a drug rehabilitation facility? She was acting more hyper lately. Maybe it was because of all the blow she was doing at school.
Me: “Nellie, WHAT did you do at school today?” I asked a third time.
Nellie: “COOKING, MAMA. COOKING. I COOKING.”
And there it was. My daughter wasn’t in danger of becoming the next Charlie Sheen at all. No tiger blood ran through her veins, and I could rest easy. She just has a penchant for playing with pots, pans, and pretending to cook. Food. Not drugs.
Me: “OH. COOKING. You cooked. You played with the kitchen.”
Nellie: “Uh, yeah, mama.”
Duh, mom. I mean, really.