My 1 1/2 year daughter uses her vocabulary of three words to great effect. She’s grown quite confident and comfortable with her three words. I even wonder if her development will progress at all because her needs are so adequately met my her three words. They are “ma ma”, “ka ka” (which means dad), and more interestingly “am”.

“am” is by far the most interesting. It may mean a few things:

feed me
give me
take this

So, the other day, I was slicing a tomato in the kitchen — a little bit distractedly as my eggs were already in the pan. Marichka was in her grandmother’s arms, and she said “am”, then again, “am”, and then . . . as loudly and angrily as I’d ever heard her say anything, “AAAAMMMM!”.

Shocked, and realizing she was addressing me, I turned toward her. She appeared a bit embarrassed and reverted to her typical angelic countenance, and, having gotten my attention, said in a small, sweet, modest voice, “am”.

I gave her all the slices of tomatoes she wanted.

edit – I guess she has a fourth word in her vocabulary: “pa pa”. Goodbye.