things she can say that aren't "papa"
ok, as expected, her favorite thing to say/express is that ur-sentiment of negativity: NO. she shakes her head no without any apparent reason while stalking around the apartment. she hands you a book she wants you to read to her and shakes her head no. fine. it's funny, actually.
she's also working nodding her head YES. since she learned the no-shake first, sometimes she has trouble pulling off a smooth yes-nod: her head will start off in a nodding direction and then veer out to the side in a no-shake. the net result is kind of hilarious -- her head just sort of wobbles side-to-side and up-and-down at the same time. she looks like a giant bobble-head doll.
the best part of all this is that she understands when you are asking her a question. she usually has no idea what you are asking her, but she understands it's a question. since she understands that it's a question, she knows that the answer will either require a no-shake or a yes-nod. when she shakes her head she has started emitting a noise that sounds vaguely like "no" but more often resembles "BO!" or "NDOH!" or "NNGGHH!" when she nods her head yes, she yelps something like "MMPH!" or "YUG!"
for example: we're at the park, she's been playing a lot. she must be thirsty, you think, so you say "babygirl, do you want some water?" she looks at you with those big swimming-pool eyes and does a no-shake. and she will say "NNGGH!" right before accepting the sippy cup anyway and taking a big thirsty swig. no, indeed.
conversely, when you say "babygirl would you like some water?" she is just as likely to rock the yes-nod and go "MM-HHM" ... and then vehemently reject the water when handed to her. she'll scrunch up her face, wave her arms and no-shake as if to say "why you all up in my grill, bitch?! if i wanted water i would have asked for it. duh!"
obviously a few dots still need connecting in her tiny brain. this is where the comedy comes in. picture this real-life exchange:
"babygirl, would you like me to throw you off the roof today?"
[nods head yes]
[nods head, grunts "MM-HMM!"]
"how about i set you on fire first, would you like that?"
"do you think your mama would be mad?"
you can see the possibilites for entertaining house guests are endless. babygirl, will you be joining us for cocktails? [nods head yes]. good! can you mix me a sapphire martini? "MM-HMM!" now be a doll and make that extra dry for daddy, mkay? "NO!"of course, sometimes it backfires. this conversation took place this morning:
"do you love papa?"
[starts to yes-nod, slips into bobble-nod/no-shake hybrid. psyche!]
"was that a yes?"
"oh that's a shame. who do you love, then?"
"oh right, i knew that. but you love papa a little bit too, right?"
[no response, vague pointing at my keys on the kitchen counter]
"tell papa who else you love a whole, whole lot."
check and mate.