Mama?

What does it portend when a baby boy (I should say toddler, and if we’re being objectively honest in our assessment, the cutest baby toddler) who has shown no interest in verbal communication, aside from the always delightful but sometimes delightfully frustrating “mama” which he scatters about indiscriminately as though feeding pigeons from a brown-paper bag, which we the parents gobble down desperately before those two syllables hit the floor and scatter and fade, aware as we are that this particular “mama” was directed at the dog, who never has been nor is any longer capable of being a biological mama, although a fierce surrogate one she certainly is, and *this* most recent “mama” showered lovingly down upon a spot of — don’t eat that! — dirt on the floor, previously undetected by me, what does it portend when this most cute toddler locks me in with his tractor beam stare, bends slightly, expectantly at the knees, and, as I lean in, lets loose?

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