You’re right! Duì de! (Sounds like: duay-duh);
I bought a “First 100 Words Bright Baby” book, less for Emmy than for me to see which beginning words I’m missing. We keep it on her high chair, and while she eats we’ll flip through it, her pointing at things she knows she knows, or me asking her where things are and her very insistently stabbing at each box with her little index finger. Airplane, car, sippy cup, baby, chair, ball, flower, apple, cheese — she nails everything I know how to ask her for. The animals even come with sounds — she pants for the dog, the monkey gets an “oo oo!” and the cow and cat get a little stuck “mmm…”
Maybe because she’s learning two languages, she’s less verbal than a lot of kids her age, so the game is particularly satisfying for me — she may not be saying the words, but at least I know she understands what they are, both in English and Mandarin.
Each time she points to the right photo, I gush: Duay-duh! You’re right! Or sometimes the simpler duay — right! (She’s comically serious while she’s pointing, but will sometimes crack a smile at my congratulations.)
Currently, her vocab extends to hi (which she says 1,000 times a day) and bye and mama and babah (what we call Rich instead of dad). Beyond that, she’ll throw out a word or phrase once and never repeat it again (at the airport, when I went to get coffee, she said to Rich, “Mama tzai-nar?” Where’s mama?). Or she’ll say something and one kind of has to squint one’s ears to realize it. Or maybe I do especially, more naturally straining for English words. (A little while after I learned munn (door), I realized she’d been saying this when I’d hand her my keys (they jingle, she likes holding them) half a block before reaching our front door. She and Rich apparently have a game in which he points out windows and doors.)
One morning, I was in bed listening to the two of them playing in the living room and Rich said, “Duay-duh!” Which, after a beat, Emmy repeated perfectly.
I jumped out of bed. “Did you hear that? She said it! Duay-duh! What does that mean?”
"Oh. How do you say left?"
"No, like, ‘You’re right.’"
Since that day, she’s never said it again. But it’s in my cache now. And surely also in hers.
ps: I love that pissed-off duckling. Maybe he thinks they’re suggesting the blue ball is his?