So Ella all but came out of the womb talking.
A lot of her friends say a few words and phrases by 2 years old.
Ella talks in sentences, nay, paragraphs.
It's her thing. She didn't wean early, walk early, or become some scientific phenom by 18 months of age.
But man alive. This girl inherited the gift of gab.
A lot of people with a toddler and a baby get "out touched," i.e., feel the urge to scream if one more little hand grabs their skirt and pulls.
I get out-talked.
Which is saying something because, dude, I'm a talker.
A big talker.
But what I wouldn't give for five minutes of peace these days.
Yet, to no avail. She talks. I listen. And I record a few tidbits so you can enjoy them, too.
Ella is potty-trained. But she still requires frequent reminders to hit the bathroom, otherwise she gets really caught up in playing, and I'm left with a pee-pee trail from the toys to the commode as she makes an unsuccessful attempt to dash there.
So, I find myself working "Do you have to pee?" into conversations about colors and shapes and the proper way to "gently touch" little sisters all the time.
One such day, while discussing green beans in the kitchen, she made a funny face. So I asked, "Ella, do you have to go potty?"
She immediately responded without skipping a beat.
"No, Mama. I pooped last week."
Well, then. I guess we're good.
I was looking through old photos, and she was perched over my shoulder.
She pulled out one of the hubs and me from a stack of wedding photos.
She pondered it and talked about "mama's pretty dress" for a while.
Then looked at my husband and yells, "Oh, dere's a cute dada! Dere's a cool dada!"
I thought so, too. I also thought we were done, but we weren't.
Anyone who comes near our house has to see the picture and hear her say "Dear's a cute dada! Dere's a cool dada."
I'm letting it go, simply because she's only got five, 10 years max, before "cute" and "cool" aren't going to ever proceed her father in her vocabulary ever again.
Going hand-in-hand with the potty-talk is the undie talk. And Ella is downright obsessed with her "big-girl undies."
Last week, I found her sitting on the floor at my mother-in-law's feet. In the bathroom. Which she'd barged into so she could "See Gam-ma's big-girl undies, mama?"
Everyone cool wears big-girl undies, according to Ella. And if she sees yours, it's sure to strike up a conversation.
Which is why just yesterday I was in the bathroom counting everyone we knew who wore underwear.
"Yes, Mama wears big-girl undies. And Gam-ma wears big-girl undies. And Ella wears big-girl undies. And Nonnie wears big girl undies..."
The list kept getting longer and longer with any potty-trained female she could think of.
Until, finally, she summed it up.
"Pop-Pop wears big-girl undies, too."
Pop-Pop, my dad, now needs an adult-sized pair of Dora the Explorer boxer-briefs.
He has to represent the big-girl undies well, female or not.
Ella often says really long sentences, but because she talks really fast, she tends to get words mixed up.
For instance, Marvin the Dog got a hold of a stuffed monkey she has and pulled its arm off. I set it up on my desk to mend later that week, but every so often, she comes back and insists on re-capping the story.
Which, initially, was presented like, "Marvin for lunch ate the arm monkey, too," instead of "Marvin ate the monkey's arm for lunch, too."
Luckily, we curbed that. Well, most of it.
She still walks around observing things (me making sandwiches, for example) and asks, in very disjointed word flow, "Mama, what's dose sandwiches doin'?"
It's so incredibly cute, I can't fix it, even as an English teacher.
As far as I'm concerned, she can talk like that till she's 45.
I was getting dressed like I do every morning when Ella walked up in front of me, put her hands on my shoulders, and goes, "Mama! Pitty eyes!"
I was fairly heartened until a few seconds later, when she looked a few inches south and goes, "Mama's boobs pitty, too!"
When we were flying to Arizona, we had spent a lot of time talking up airplanes with her.
Well, somewhere along the line, Ella dubbed them "big, old panes."
Never airplanes. Or even just "planes."
We were flying on a "big, old pane." End of story.
So imagine her shock and surprise when she say a long line of aircraft out the glass airport window while we waited to board our flight.
"Mama! Look! Look! Another big old pane! And another big old pane! And another big old pane! And another big old pane..."
You get the picture.
Back to the potty-training.
Ella was cooking with me and didn't get to the restroom in time when she had to pee.
As I'm wiping it up, she's trying to help me. And she slipped. And really went down hard.
It scared her more than anything. But as she's wailing and clinging to me, she keeps repeating the same thing over and over again. And I can't for the life of me figure out what it is.
Until I realize she's yelling over my shoulder at the dog.
"Careful Marfin! Don't swip in the pee-pee! Ella swipped in the pee-pee! I don't like that swippin' in the pee-pee! Don't swip Marfin! Don't swip in the pee-pee Marfin! Ella swipped!..."
Luckily, Marvin listened.