Wednesday, April 20, 2005

all words start with “B” (except “woof”)

Or so it seems. Iz can say “bird,” "book," and “ball.” But he thinks birds are pictures that hang on walls. We have a tapestry with many birds woven into it hanging in our dining room, which is where he learned the word. At some point, he started gesturing toward the tapestry (not quite pointing), so I started pointing to all the birds, saying “bird” and counting them (13). Why not? Soon after, we were in the living room, and Iz pointed at the painting of a field and farm house and said, “Bir”(no “d”).

Abraham does not believe Iz can say “book” or “ball” because Iz’s first and favorite sound is “ba.” All B words are subtle variations on “ba.” But he deliberately says “ba” when rolling a ball on the floor or holding a book. But we could also claim that he knows how to say “boat,” “balloon,” “broccoli,” “bottle” (which he never took to), "block," "baby," or "b*oob(ie)" (or "b*reast" for the more sophisticated) and someone might believe us.

Iz’s first word, however, was no B word. It was “woof.” (It is in the dictionary; I checked.)

Our dog, Zi, probably does not remember life Before Iz (B.I.). He still has an over-excited reaction if visitors oh and ah over Iz when they arrive: He jumps, he licks, he whimpers and stomps his front paws. Jealousy? But certainly he can’t remember those days when he was the first baby. Perhaps protective?

Iz loves the dog. Zi can do no wrong. He can bark, jump, chase his tail, whatever. Iz laughs. He laughs even is he is in the middle of crying because it is bedtime or because I have taken the cordless phone from him.

But Zi can make Iz cry – if he leaves when Iz is pulling on his ears or holding on to his tail. A few times, Zi has run Iz down or nicked his head with a paw (once leaving a little welt on Iz’s forehead). There was crying. But even then, Iz was quickly off again, doing his commando crawl to grab a hold of Zi’s tail again, laugh, and say “woof” over and over.

Zi often just stands there, staring at the wall, tolerating the sub-20-pound human latched on to his tail. Sometimes he turns tail (literally) and licks Iz’s face (more laughter). Other times he walks away, pulling Iz along the floor, who is again laughing and saying “woof.”

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