Lucy's now at the stage where, given the proper encouragement, she will repeat just about any four-syllable word or phrase you say to her. Which means that each night my husband and I square off to see which one of us can get her to say the longest, strangest word.

"Lucy, say 'mamacita!'"

"MamaSEEtah!"

"Lu, say 'rhinocerous!"

"Wye-NOH-ser-us!"

Uncle Joe Weiner was the title-holder for a while. While we were down in Florida, after hours of diligent application and hard effort, he got Lucy to say "I see O.J.."

But tonight, Adam got her to say "rhinoplasty," and I failed to get her to repeat "Barack Obama."

He wins.

In other Lu news, she's still obsessed with Elmo in particular, Sesame Street in general -- and this is just on the strength of two "Elmo's World" videos and a few Sesame-related library books.

The thing that freaks me out the most is that she can point to the little green street sign on the books' front covers and say "Sess-ee Seat!"

She's also decided that Bert and Ernie are one person. Called Bernie. "Bernie!" she will crow in delight when she spots either one of them. "Bernie's house!" she says, while we're reading the Cookie Monster book and she espies a building through Cookie's window.

Weird.

Jen