Suddenly, in the midst of baby babble, fully formed sentences started appearing. At first we were unsure—is she just parroting us? Repeating without understanding? But now Legume is talking in full force. I’d say about half of what she says is intelligible and the other half is clearly intended as coherent language—we’re just too dumb to understand it.
“Ah wan jaba gooba,” she tells me intently, looking me right in the eye.
Um, you want something, Legume? I can’t understand what you’re saying.
“Ah wan jaba gooba,” she repeats more insistently.
Bean-girl, can you understand what you’re sister is saying?
“AH WAN JABA GOOBA!”
Um, here have a cookie instead.
That cheers her up and makes her instantly forget about the mysterious jaba gooba.
Then she walks into the kitchen and tells me, apropos of nothing, “Ah wan slurpee!”
Oh, this I understand. No slurpee now. Slurpees from the 7-eleven are special treats. We can get slurpees another day.
“Slurpees anotha day!” she beams and walks contentedly away.
She has, mysteriously, picked up a Southern accent. “Mah teddy beah!” (translation: My teddy bear) she cries in the breathy drawl of a southerner. “Mah bicycle! Mah panda! Mah toothbrush! Mah, mah, mah!”
“I like mommy!” she proclaimed the other day. “I like sister! I like tissue box! I like Daddy!”
“Oh, great, I rank below the tissue box,” her father said.