The Right Word

A couple of days ago, Pata played in the kitchen with her little toy bat as I cooked dinner. Holding him by his wings, she shook him up and down. “Vola!” she said, “Vola Vola!”

“Oh,” I asked her, “is Bruno flying?”


“Bruno is a bat,” I told her, “say bat.”

Vola!” she said.

The next morning she found Bruno on the bedroom floor. “Pipistrello,” she said, carefully pronouncing the four-syllable word.

“That’s right!” I told her. A word that big coming from a toddler’s mouth deserves recognition, whether in the right language or not.

Later, she played with her bath toys beside the tub as I showered. She arranged them on the floor, saying their names in Italian: pesce (fish,) popilo (polipo, octopus,) pinguino (penguin.) Then she put one on the edge of the tub.

“Oh, what is that? I asked, pointing to the grinning, hot pink sea creature she had placed there.

“Crab,” she said.

“That’s right,” I said, smiling.”Crab.”


7 responses to “The Right Word

  1. Loving it!Funny though, that she would choose "pipistrello" over "bat" — the nerve!Have a great day :)Dana

  2. Reb, that's the one…Gail, she LOVES to talk, so I'm sure that each new word is exciting for her. She often giggles after she's mastered a new one.Dana, I know, really- pipistrello vs. bat. On the bright side, it suggests she's not lazy.

  3. Yay! She's getting some words in english like crab. I knew she would. Luca still isn't speaking more than two syllable words. But he is just now starting to include Italian words into his repertoire. I love this age, it is soooo fun!

  4. J. Doe, she is for now…I hope she stays that way. The true test will be whether she keeps speaking both once she starts going to school.Amber, I've been thinking the same thing about toddlerhood. It is such a fun, exciting time. Pata really surprised me with "pipistrello," because she'd been cutting syllables out of the longer words.

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