Thursday, April 12, 2007


A new word for Ulysses this past weekend was toast -- or, as he pronounces it, "toatch." He puts a hard "tch" on the end of lots of his words: "boatch" for boat, "mootch" for move, and so on. Lot of other words, he puts a "k" or "g" at the front end: "guck" for truck, "guck" for duck, "guck" for stuck, "gock" for sock, "cock" for clock. All these words sound almost alike to our ear. I've made the joke that if his truck were to be stuck under a clock in the shape of a duck wearing socks, he could tell the whole story in a single word.

Saturday morning I had the idea to toast some bread and give it a generous coat of cream cheese. I cut it into eight pie wedges, and arranged them into a pointy jumble on the plate. I brought it to him with the enthusiastic announcement, "Toast!" It was a big hit. "Toatch?" he said, inquisitively at first. Then toast was in the repertoire for easy things to make that U likes to eat, with protein and other good things, when it's covered in cream cheese, anyway.

Yesterday after I came home from work, U led us to the window. He pointed outside, into the windy snowstorm that had been raging all day, repeating, "Toatch! Toatch! Toatch!" I couldn't figure it out. Was he saying "snow"? "Snow!" I repeated -- or thought I was repeating. But it didn't seem like the satisfactory response. "Toatch," he insisted. "Toatch, toatch, toatch!"

Then Donald pointed out the roof of the house next door. Its flat black edge peeked out from under a generous, white, fluffy coat. "It looks like toast. With cream cheese."

"Toatch!!" exclaimed Ulysses, happy to be understood, at last.