Come, lái (sounds like: lye). Wait, děng (sounds like: dun).
The kid moves fast these days. She’s there and then she’s not — which is maybe why two words often used around here are come — lye lye — and wait, dun dun. Rich always says each twice. Which I imagine is because his mother says them twice, because saying a word twice helps a child to learn them better, she’s told us on visits. And because it’s a gentler way to speak to children, or anyone really.
I’ll hear Emmy fussing while Rich is maybe preparing a bottle for her — or calling to be picked up while he hurries to first wash his hands — and he’ll say to her gently, “Dun, dun. Dun, dun.” And, always surprisingly to me, she does.
Lye, lye is a similarly gentle coax — if he’s calling her to follow him, or to step away from the stereo and back to him on the couch. And now I say it, extending my arms toward her to lift her from the stroller and wanting her to do the same. Lye, lye, xiao bao bei.