Annabel has started talking, and, as I’ve mentioned before, the prospect of having difficult conversations with her one day has me more than a little nervous. What I never imagined, however, was that these difficult conversations would come LONG before I imagined – like, say, yesterday!

Our first difficult conversation was instigated by something I do every morning – take Rigby out to do her business. Normally this happens uneventfully, but yesterday Annabel saw me putting the harness on Rigby and hurriedly waddled over to the baby gate:


“Uppa,” she shouted. “Uppa!”

Annie had recently learned the word “Uppa! (better known as “up” to us adults), and quickly grasped its meaning. As a result she now repeated it over and over when she tired of sitting in her high chair or wanted to be picked up off the ground.

“Uppa!” she repeated. ” Uppa!”

I cringed as I connected Rigby’s leash because I knew why Annie was saying, “Uppa!” A couple days earlier I had taken her with me when I took Rigby outside, and Annie loved every second of it. I, on the other hand, decided that I would never bring her along again because picking up dog poo while juggling a dog AND baby was not fun.

“Uppa!” Annie said with a little more urgency, so I sent her a quick smile.  As I opened the front door:


“I can’t take you with me today,” I said as I turned back to Annie. “But I’ll be right back and Mommy’s right there, okay?”

I had only taken one step out the door when I heard a loud thud. I looked back to see Annie on her back in the play area, screaming and kicking her legs in the air, mid tantrum. I hurried over with Rigby.

“Annie! Calm down! This is nothing to -”

“UPPA!!! UPPA!!!

“I can’t take you outside with the dog. It’s very hard to hold you and deal with the dog and pick up -”


Tears now rolled down Annie’s little cheeks.

“Annie,” I said as my heart broke. “You’re not -”

“UPPA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  WAAAAHHH!!!!” UPPA!!!!!!!!!!  WAAAAHHH!!!!”

“Okay, okay!” I said as I scooped Annie up and kissed the tears from her cheek. “I’ll take you with me.”

A minute later I was outside with a happy, giggling Annie and rambunctious Rigby.  As I tried to lean over to pick up doggie doo while dealing with both of them it suddenly occurred to me:

Annie had just won an argument with me by using one word.


What’s going to happen when she can use two words? Or a hundred? Or – gasp – thousands?

Something tells me I am in store for a lot of trouble in the years to come.