Friday, February 27, 2004

The new word in Youngest's vocabulary is "actually."

This is almost as cute as her mastery of the word "probably" a few months ago, pronounced something like pwaa-bwaa-bwee, but used correctly in a sentence nonetheless. (Would she like to go with Mom to the store? "No, I probably would just like to stay here with Daddy.")

Her use of "actually" seems to betray just how much more is going on in her head than we have access to. For example, she'll pull her charm on Daddy and ask for a dessert during dinner.

"You need to eat your dinner first," says Dad.

Youngest says, "Actually, I ate my dinner already."

Dad points to 90% of her dinner left on the plate. "You have lots of dinner left here."

Youngest pouts, then scoots down from the table and runs off to watch TV while we decide whether it's worth it to chase her down.

Ten minutes later, as Oldest is clearing dishes, Youngest returns to find her plate missing from the table. "MY DINNER! IT GONE!" she cries in anguished outrage.

Oldest looks at me and rolls her eyes. I say to Youngest, "You said you were finished."

Youngest sticks out her lower lip. "ACTUALLY," she informs me, "I still eating it!"

"You're done."

Her pout instantly turns into a wide, beseeching smile, complete with batted eyelashes. "Can I have some candy?"

I offer her fruit instead, which she grudgingly accepts and then leaves with it. I can hear her talking to Dad in the den.

"Oh, you've got an apple!" Dad observes.

"Actually Dad, I would like some candy..."

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