It’s fun to watch the girls as they develop their verbal skills and vocabularies. M. is making a leap in logical ability and saying things she’s not heard before because she understands that the words can fit what she’s trying to say. C., on the other hand, has reached the point where 15-20 words and sounds just isn’t enough, and each day means something new and recognizable comes out of her mouth.

With M., it’s equally amusing and concerning. One day, she’ll bust out something hilarious. Recently we were out in the front yard and a neighbor walked by with her small dog, which came over to sniff at the girls. M. was excited, but also a little anxious, and backed away from it while she giggled. Finally, she said, “Dad, what a wonderful dog!” Where she got that, I have no idea.

On the concerning side is how her imagination works at times, and how at others she throws things back at us. One day when she was hanging out with her grandparents and it was time to come home, she protested by saying, “Please don’t take me back there. They’re terrible!” The they being S. and I. Lovely. When she defies me, I’ve been explaining how she doesn’t make the rules in the house, her mommy and I do. In response comes this lovely rejoinder, “No, I’m the boss, Dad.” She’s pretty certain of herself, but that doesn’t go over well with her parents.

C. was happy just saying Dada, Mama, Dora and assorted animal noises until late last week, when she started repeating about one word a day that I would say to her. The first was Daddy, which was tremendous and when coupled with hugs and kisses ensures she’ll go to private school her entire life. She also picked up ball over the weekend, and each time she saw my t-shirt Saturday, which was an Italy World Cup shirt and had a soccer ball in the middle, she said, “Ball!” and pointed at it. Unfortunately, in an effort to show the world what bad parents she has, she’s also begun saying “Bah-pah,” which is her version of Backpack. For those of you without kids out there, Backpack is a character on Dora. Throw in her spot-on imitation of Boots the Monkey, and that means roughly 10% of my daughter’s vocabulary is directly tied to her favorite TV show. Concerning.

I mentioned her affectionate ways above. The girl loves to give kisses, and will often randomly walk over and give me a smooch. I was getting a little concerned about the OCD qualities her kissing habits were demonstrating one night last week, when, as I went into her room to give her Motrin at 2:00 AM, she stopped screaming long enough to give me a kiss, then went right back to screaming again. Strange.

I keep saying this is a sign that she won’t talk to me at all for about five years when she turns 13, since she is all about loving her dad now. M., on the other hand, could care less about showing affection, and will probably be my best friend in her teen years.

One last note, the girl got four teeth last week. When our girls get teeth, they get teeth! Unfortunately, she still has nine to go, and since our girls must suffer for about five months before anything pops through, we’ve still got a long ways to go.