Ambidextrous

We’re walking to school.  She asks: “How come there are so many weeds in that garden?”

“Nobody takes care of it, I guess.  That’s not very good.”

“But they’re nice and colourful!”

“Well, that’s looking on the bright side…”

Suddenly she changes the topic.  “Can you use chopsticks with your left hand?”

“No… well I never really tried.”

“I can.”

I’m impressed.  “Do you know what its called when you can use your left hand just as well as your right hand?”

“What?”

“Its… no, its too big a word for you,” I said in a teasing voice.

“Oh… tell me, pretty please.”

“Its… um…. [long pause] … no, its too complicated.”

“Come on, I really want to know.”

“OK… its ambidextrous.”

“Aaaam bi dex trous”, she repeats, trying it out, and obviously pleased by its verbal texture.

“Thats it.”

Did you just make that up?” she asks, suspiciously.

“No, I promise.”

“Pinkie promise?” she asks, holding out her little finger.  In her circles, entwining pinky fingers while promising bestows a higher degree of solemnity.

“OK, pinkie promise.”

Later same day…

I asked: “How do you spell ambidextrous?”

“A..m..b……i…d..e…..x…t…r..o..u..s?”

“Yes, that’s right!  How did you know?”  I doubted she’d seen the word written anywhere.

“I just sounded it out.”

“OK, how do you spell… vegetable.”

“V..e..g…d…a…b..l..e?”

 

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