Thursday, April 14, 2011


Today we were getting ready to go outside. It was an amazing spring day. The temperature was about 65 degrees with a light breeze. The sun was shining brightly. When playing in the sun short sleeves felt wonderful. We had just finished putting on shoes and socks and were heading out the door to play when Ava said, “toe” and looked at me expectantly.

I had no idea what she meant. She repeated herself politely once or twice in response to the apparently blank look on my face. When I responded with, “I have no idea what you want sweetheart, can you show me?” she started to get frantic chanting over and over, “Toe! Toe! Toe! Toe! Toe!” It was obvious that she wasn’t going outside until I figured out what she wanted. I felt terrible and as she got more and more frustrated and anxious so did I. Finally, when she started heading for the coat closet I realized that she was asking for her coat.

I wasn’t expecting the request because it was so nice outside so I didn’t have any context to guess until she gave me a clue. In retrospect, “toe” for “coat” makes perfect sense. She leaves off the /t/ at the ends of words and she can’t make a /k/ sound so she used a /t/ at the beginning instead. That turns coat into toe. The whole exchange couldn’t have taken more than 60 seconds, but it was a pretty intense 60 seconds and we were both relieved when we finally figured it out.

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