by CL Bledsoe
On the cover, piglets. I point, enunciate
slowly. My sixteen-month-old daughter
says, “Da-da.” I correct her, surprised. She
says it again. I’m firm. We open to the first
page. I say, “Cow,” and make a moo sound.
She says, “Moo.” Then a dog. She says, “Wha-
wha-wha.” Another pig. She says, “Da-da.”
I say, “No, piggy.” She says, “Da-da,” and points.
I turn the page. Cheese. Apples. Berries.
She starts strong but leaves off those hard
consonants. Another page, her favorite: “Nanas!”
I say, “BAnanas,” and she gets it. I smile. Clap.
And she claps. Then she flips pages, finds nothing
she likes, comes back to the pig, points. I say, “Piggy.”
She says, “Piggy” and then “Da-da,” and smiles.