Who’s your daddy?


Sarah Rouse works with 2-year-olds Ava Clanton, left, and Hannah Hiatt
in the Building Blocks progam at the Speech Therapy Associates in Lodi.
(Camera: Nikon D300. Lens: 17-35mm @17mm. Exposure: 1/30 sec., @ f/2.8. ISO: 400)

It’s hard to beat cute. I shot the Building Blocks program at the Speech Therapy Associates office in Lodi recently. Children from 18-months to 5-years-old with language delays attend play-group sessions to help develop their verbal skills. Not only do they learn from the speech therapists, but from each other as well.

Sara Rouse helps 2-year-olds Abby Moffatt, left, and Hannah Hiatt in
the Building Blocks progam at the Speech Therapy Associates in Lodi. (Camera: Nikon D300. Lens: 17-35mm @17mm. Exposure: 1/60 sec., @ f/2.8. ISO: 400)

As our kids get older, we tend to forget what they were like when they were little. From school to sports, we can get caught up in the accomplishments of the now or marvel at how tall they’re getting, and don’t remember their very first steps or words.


2-year-old Abby Moffatt participates in the Building Blocks progam at the Speech Therapy Associates in Lodi.  (Camera: Nikon D300. Lens: 17-35mm @17mm. Exposure: 1/60 sec., @ f/2.8. ISO: 400)

The two-year-olds that I shot were as cute as the proverbial button. It’s fun to see them absorb the world around them at that age, seeing things for the first time. Most were pretty much unaffected by my presence there. They definitely hadn’t learned “take my picture” yet. At most some were mildly curious of the camera, but just for a moment. One little girl was eager to show me what she learned. She held up a small plastic toy lamb to me and called me “daddy.” Then she said “sheep” and “baa”, “baa.” She then held up a paper cutout of a baby chick and again called me “daddy”. I said “chick” and then “cheep”, “cheep”, which she promptly repeated.

I know that at this age every man is “daddy” and every woman is “mommy.” My kids are 10 and nearly 13 and it’s been awhile since they called me “daddy”. It’s usually just “dad” (although my daughter, in a middle school-moment, once called me “dude”, which I quickly nipped in the bud). It was kind of fun being called “daddy” again.

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