Daddy’s Ears

She speaks with a Cindy Brady lisp.

Just enough to be almost too cute to stand. Not so much that she’s impossible to understand.

Unless she’s outside on a sunny day. Or eating a baked potato. Or her grandparents are coming to visit. Or she got new shoes. Or…

When she’s excited at all – and it seems she always is – she talks too fast, squishes her words together into a blur of sound.

“I can’t understand you,” I said after she spat a stream of glued together words about…how great mayonnaise is maybe? “I’m sorry. Slow down and try me again, monkey.”

“Because your ears grew up in Texas?” she asked.

This is the stuff I miss when I’m away. The surprises of quantity time. The insults. The lisped wisdom. The laughter – even if it is at my expense.