Scott was one and already he was the master of many words, most in English and a few in Spanish. Papi. Mama. Hi. Chau. No. Yes. Ball. Juice. Cookie. Mas. All the really important things.

Except one.

“Can you say Ellie?” we would ask, pointing at his beloved older sister.

“No,” he’d answer, and run off to play.

“El. Ly,” we’d coach. “Can you say Ellie?”

“No. Mas juice?”

“I’ll give you more juice if you say Ellie,” I tried.


And then one day, I heard him calling for her, and I stopped, not sure if I had heard correctly.

“What did you just call her? What’s your sister’s name?” I asked like it was no big thing.


Please read that correctly. He didn’t say “no” in a long and drawn out way. He said “noo” pronounced like “new.”

And I kid you not, he proceeded to call her that for the next several weeks.

“Say goodnight to Papi and Ellie,” I said at bedtime.

“Chai Papi! Chau Noo!”

And at play time, “Noo! Noo! Tum here!”

Noo? Really?

For those who contend that kids are blank slates and are formed into who they will be solely by the environment around them, I submit to you my son. Being absolutely his own self from the moment his little mouth could form words.

Kids are weird, people, weirder than you ever imagined.

Luckily, that’s the way we like them.

One thought on “Noo

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