It was late in coming, but it's here with a vengeance.
The Boss has learned the word "no."
The shake of her head and her turned away face has been replaced with a chorus of clear negativity. "No, no, no, no!" She says it in the morning when I pick her up from her crib. It's not that she doesn't want to join the world of the waking, as far as I can tell; it's that she likes the sound of her own defiance. She says it when I hold out a cup of the milk she has already expressed a desire for. She walks away. I leave it on a chair at her level. I turn my back and she comes back to get it.
I tell her I'm going to make a phone call. "No!" She bleats. I dial the number anyway. My mother picks up. I ask The Boss if she would like to speak to nana. "No!" she insists as she walks over to me anyway. I put the phone to her ear. The Boss's light breath is the only thing audible on the other end.
"Say hi to nana," I suggest.
"No!" she replies.
"Did you hear that?" I ask my mother.
Mom just laughs.
"Do you think if I ignore it, it'll go away?"
"No," mom says.
The Boss runs of out the room, leaving in her wake another "no" that confirms it.