Like all new parents, we could hardly wait for our daughter to speak. She had only been with us a few months and although there was the occasional muttering of "mama," there were no verbs or nouns coming our way. But that didn't mean she wasn't communicating with us. One day she kept making the sound, "Uf!" and she kept repeating it: "Uf! Uf! Uf!" And she kept doing it all the time. Every day. And we had no idea why. And then one morning we figured it out. It was pretty obvious.
Ozzy had been barking his head off about a pig ear or for no reason at all. He was just being his usual Blabrador self. And while he "Woof! Woof! Woofin!" she was singing along in harmony. "Uf! Uf! Uf!" It was amazing to watch. For me, there couldn't have been a more perfect first word.
We all miss Ozzy so much, but we got Bean a stuffed Ozzy and she hugs him tight all the time, like she understands who he was and will ever be. Her big brother. Her father's furry guardian angel. Babies are smarter than we think. She now calls him, "Otzi."