clementine speaks

I’m writing it down here because I don’t want to forget it… Last week, shortly after turning 13 months old, Clementine spoke her first complete sentence. I was leaving for work, and I’d just given her a little peck on the head as she sat there, on the living room floor, playing with her blocks. I had my hand on the doorknob and was on my way out when I heard a little voice behind me say, “Bye, Dada.” There was no gibberish either before or after it — just that single phrase, all by itself, enunciated more clearly than anything she’s said either before that day or since. I swung around and she was just sitting there on the floor, looking up at me, smiling. Her hand was still raised a little above her head, as though she’d just stopped waving. Linette, who was standing behind her at the time, and I just looked at one another in wide-eyed disbelief, each wondering if the other one had heard it. (We had.) It was a very nice way to start the morning.

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  1. Posted August 23, 2005 at 10:34 pm | Permalink


  2. mark
    Posted August 23, 2005 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

    I should mention that our car isn’t usually so packed-full of crap. We just happened to be returning from a camping trip when that photo was taken a few days ago.

  3. mike_1630
    Posted August 24, 2005 at 5:07 am | Permalink

    That’s the nicest, most uplifting thing I’ve read in a long time.

  4. Doug Skinner
    Posted August 24, 2005 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    Obviously, what she said was “Buy Dada.” She’s a smart kid; she knows the art market.

    Seriously, congratulations to all of you!

  5. anonymatt
    Posted August 24, 2005 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    That’s really great, is she walking more, too?


    I’m not sure I would count “Bye, Dada” as a complete sentence. I would expect a complete sentence to have a subject and verb.

    a remarkable achievement, anyway. Her first sentence with a subject and verb should be coming soon…

  6. anonymatt
    Posted August 24, 2005 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    oh, wait. If Doug is correct, then she did speak a complete sentence, with an implied subject. I suspect she meant “bye” not “buy” though.

  7. Shanster
    Posted August 24, 2005 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    Was there any art nearby that she was identifying as “by” Dada? Seriously, that’s cool. I remember my daughter’s first sentence: Kick the ball! She said it 20 times in a row.

  8. Posted August 24, 2005 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    Uh oh..I just read this about a girl who spoke in complete sentences.

    I love that picture, and that grin says she has a lot of things she’s just waiting to spring on you.

  9. pat
    Posted August 24, 2005 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    OK – the next thing that darling baby says is “I love my grandma”. She is wonderful.

  10. mark
    Posted August 24, 2005 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

    That’s a crazy coincidence, Cyndy…

    The article she linked to, in case you didn’t follow it, is about girl who’s ostracized at camp for speaking in complete sentences. Clearly, our daughter is headed down a path to friendlessness.

    As for buying dada, I agree, that does sound like good advice

  11. Ken
    Posted August 24, 2005 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

    I don’t have any money to give but I can donate a bike wheel to make a forgery.

  12. mark
    Posted August 24, 2005 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

    I was hoping for a urinal.

  13. Posted August 26, 2005 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    No debt is created. I owe my neigbor nothing

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