Back when Hyrum was still babbling, I had a mission. A mission of indoctrination.
Hyrum, what does a cow say? "blurblegabuu" A cow says moo.
Hyrum, what does a cat say? A cat says meow. ... [and so on through several animals]
Hyrum, what does Daddy say? Daddy says, "I love you."
Eventually he started making animal sounds and could play along.
Hyrum, what does a cow say? "moo" That's right. A cow says moo.
Hyrum, what does a cat say? "meow" That's right. A cat says meow. ...
Hyrum, what does Daddy say? "..." Daddy says, "I love you."
I knew the day would come when someone would ask what Daddy says and I wanted that first spontaneous answer to be "I love you."
I didn't quite win. The first thing "daddy says" was "I the monster tickles." Oh well. There was still time. I talked about some of the other things "daddy says" earlier this week. When I got back home from Denver, Hyrum told me that "Daddy says, 'Welcome to Family Fun Time. Play Family Feud.'" [video coming soon.] I asked him what Mommy says. "Play Family Feud." riiiiight. Did Mommy really say that? "No." What does Hyrum say? "Play Family Feud." Gotcha.
Then tonight I was getting him ready for bed. Part of the nighttime ritual includes Hyrum setting up a plastic "frog" (played by a sea turtle) on the toilet so he can sit on it and "practice potty." While he practices, we read him a story about "A Potty for Me." In the story, before he figures out how to use the potty the boy pees his pants. But Mom says, "That's okay."
As usual, I paused at the end of sentences to prompt Hyrum to fill in the missing word. He didn't say anything when I got to the mommy though. So I asked, "What does Mommy say?"
"I love you, too." ...
While I was in Denver, you see, Joy got to introduce Pete's Dragon to him. It opens with a song between Pete and his dragon, Elliot. Elliot burbles something and Pete answers, "I love you, too." Mommy sang it to him this week. A lot. Mommy says, "I love you, too." I was very gratified that Joy got to hear him say that.