News — FirstPerson

The Eleventh Word

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The sky was a slate of electric indigo. We were sitting in the bath, my year-and-a-half-old son and I. My wife popped her head in the door. He looked at her, giving her a smile I will never get, and then pointed to the painting of a magenta fish on the wall. “Sheesh,” he said. “Fish?” She said. “Sheesh!” He said. It was, perhaps, his eleventh word. He had dog and ball and duck and bubble and mama and (mysteriously in our lesbian household) dada and nana (for banana) and vroom vroom (for cars) and hah-hah (for hot) and (the...

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