Mihret's first word, "duck," refers to her identical pink rubber duckies with green bills that go everywhere with us in her diaper bag and around the house.
Lately, though, I've been thinking my 11-month-old daughter must have learned the word while sitting on her daddy's shoulders as he parades her through one doorway and then another.
It's a favorite pastime. She'll grab handfuls of his hair and hold on tight as he carefully navigates the obstacles.
She giggles as he bends to avoid the doorframes, and leans her head on his to avoid a bump.
The fun is between daddy and daughter — his shoulders are strong enough to hold her, and he's not afraid he'll make her fall.
Although I smile as I watch them play, it's also a reminder of the fact that she's truly a "daddy's girl."
When we're both in the room, she clearly prefers his lap over mine, and when she's a fussy eater, only he can get her to down her Gerber garden vegetables without dumping them.
My husband gently reminds me that there'll be times coming up when only a mom will do.
She'll watch me for potty training and play at primping in the mirror with my makeup. And years from now, she'll need to talk about puberty.
At the end of the day, I know I'm blessed that my daughter has a daddy who loves her and fully participates in her care.
And, after all, in our house there's a big girl I know best of all, who still asks for her daddy on the phone first when stress gets the best of her.
Kara Patterson: Post-Crescent staff writer