The latest thing that Mandy does to crack me up is identifying the location of whatever she’s talking about. Or trying to talk about. It may not sounds like much, but when she says something like “Ka-loon!” and you respond with a dim-witted “Huh?” she’ll straighten up, stab a finger at whatever she’s thinking of and say, as loudly as she possibly can, “Right DERE!” It’s also weird that some things just seem to elicit exclamations from her every time she sees them. Is there a cat or cat facsimile anywhere in sight? “MEOW MEOW! Right DERE!” She also does the same thing with “LLAMA!” which makes me particularly proud.
On the Sam front, I’ve noticed in my studies of her something interesting about the way she reacts to fear. Some things make her shriek like the little girl she is and cower in fear. Any kind of flying insect, for example. The other week while we were out at The Farm we sent her up to the cabin by herself when she said she had to go to the bathroom as soon as we had walked all the way down to the beach and strapped her into four or five different kinds of flotation devices (we take flotation very seriously). A moment later, I could hear Sam screaming over the considerable distance up to the cabin, so I trotted up there. A wasp had gotten into the house with her, and she was gibbering and crying from the other side of the room while she shook her fist at it. I scored major Daddy points by simply opening the door and letting it buzz out.
Sam’s reactions to imaginary terrors differs quite a bit, though. The Little Mermaid’s nemesis, Ursula the Sea Witch, has always scared Sam. The other day she was watching that movie and I walked in from the other room to see Sam striking some kind of bizarre kung-fu stance in front of the TV. She had her feet spaced wide apart, knees bent, left hand cocked back behind her head with fingers splayed, and her right hand held out to the offending Sea Witch in a tightly balled fist. “You’d better stay away from Ursula,” she shouted. “I’m too powerful for you! I’ll KILL YOU!” She also did something similar when a commercial for some scary (to her) movie came on the TV once, ordering the pixilated monster to depart immediately.
So, anything that has an exoskeleton and the power of flight? Complete and paralyzing terror. But cartoon witch or CGI hobgoblin? Sam is gonna kick its ass, with style. Come to think of it, that’s probably pretty adaptive.