Beegelbed. This is not a word. It has never entered our minds, never left our mouth, never been created. In the history of words, it is nothing.

That is, until now.

Because, you see, it’s not enough for Sierra to learn words at a frightening pace. No. Now, she’s making up her own.

Except, here’s the rub: We’re not sure if she’s making it up, or if we’re simply NOT UNDERSTANDING HER.

Sierra is two. Which means she’s at the age of rapid comprehension, when thoughts are quickly made into words. This is the stage of addition, fast enough that pronunciation and context is an afterthought. Refining the language will come later on.

It’s thrilling. New words pour out of her, and understanding of grammar and diction increases. For a couple of wordhounds, it’s like magic. We’re seeing the connection between verbal and actual, the evolution of thought into communication.

And because we’re always there, we understand her quirks. We know what she means, even if others can’t decipher it. Because, again, she’s two. Which means she’s constantly walking the thin line between universal conversation and frustration.

And then, there’s “beegelbed.”

We’ve asked. “What’s a beegelbed?” (She smiles and says, “Nooooo.”)

Okay. “What’s a beegelbed say,” we ask, assuming it’s an animal. (She smiles again. This is all very funny.)

We sound out different things. “Beagle Bed?” “Beetle Bug?” “Beat Elwood?”

Nothing. For now.

And it will stay nothing. Because really, all we have to do is wait. Within a few weeks, the word will have disappeared, either sucked up into distant memory or honed to the point of understanding. Eventually, it won’t be the words she’s questioning, but concepts. Why is the sky blue and all of that. Give it a few years, and we’ll be wondering how she learned so much, how she ever ended up at our level, carrying on a real conversation about school and her friends and some random television program that we’ll never understand because we lost our ability to comprehend teenage humor a long time ago.

We’ll wonder where the time went. We’ll long for the days where her words were first starting to burst forth.

Until then, though, I’ll just sit confused, uneasily wondering what she could mean by “beegelbed.”

This was lovingly handwritten on November 24th, 2009