Juniper has learned to turn on the television. She stands there less than ten inches from the screen, flipping through all four channels, looking for "babies." It also seems she prefers it at full volume. Despite my proclivities regarding the tube, I did not leap from where I sat across the room screaming, "Nooooooooooooooo!" in slow motion. We figured we'd let her see what it was, and hopefully get bored with it.

Tonight while we were getting her bath ready we heard the television crescendo in the other room. The channels changed every four seconds. Brady Bunch: "babies!" Pistons Game: "ball!" Evening news: "eyes!" George W. Bush's immigration speech: "Dada!"

[pause while Dutch looks to Wood with dread]

"No Juniper," her mother said. "That's not dada. That's our dictator. Can you say dick-tay-tor?"


Why? Oh why, Juniper? Anyone but him: Jerry Springer. French Stewart. Jared the subway guy. Why couldn't she have called any of them "dada."

I guess I should just prepare for the worst: