Just as C did, N has been learning language skills from listening to us command the dogs. One of his few words is "tay!" – short for "Stay!" He holds his hand out and says it very sternly, mimicking the way we tell the dogs to stay.

N loves to climb. Being less than 1 year old, this is a serious problem. His favorite target is a plastic kid sized picnic table in the den. He can get to the top of that – and be contemplating a leap from the top – in just a few seconds.

It’s a constant battle to keep him off it, and he knows that he’s not supposed to get up there. So, he waits until our backs are turned and then goes as fast as he can.

Yesterday, J and I were both in the den, and N apparently thought we weren’t watching. He fast-crawled over and started up the table. I broke out that Daddy threatening voice: "No…"

He looked over at me, held out a hand and said "tay!"

Then, just for good measure, he looked at J (who was starting to laugh), held out his hand again and said "tay!".

I moved forward to pick him up, and he tried it again.

Nice try, N. Nice try. But since it doesn’t work on the dogs, did you really think it would work with us?

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