I had Leta on the bed this morning, and as she was playing with toys I tried to coax her into saying, “Mama.” I sang “Mama mama mama,” over and over again, slowly mouthing MA MA with my lips wide and then together again.

When I stopped to take a breath she looked at me blankly, on cue, and said, “DA DA.”

Jon immediately ducked as I threw her stuffed purple rhinoceros at his head.