Well, he’s finally done it. He’s uttered a word that I feel comfortable enough to write down as his first in the baby book.
For a month or so The Baby has been saying “uh, oh,” here and there. But he never really applied it to anything and we weren’t quite sure if he was really even trying to say it, or if it was just a coincidence that some of the monosyllables in his repertoire came together in such a way as to make sense.
He also will say “mamamamama” or “dadadadada” but it doesn’t seem to mean anything to him, nor does he mimic the sound if you say it first. As far as we can tell, he doesn’t associate those sounds with us at all. If you ask The Baby where his sock is, he knows. He knows his shoes, he can find his spoon or even point to my nose. Heck, if you tell him to put his sock on the table, he’ll do it! But if you say, “Show me Dada. Where is Dada?” he just looks blankly at you. If I ask him to “Show me Mama’s nose,” he’ll cheerfully point to my nose. But ask him “Where’s Mama?” and you’ll be greeted by the sound of silence, or, better yet, he will divert the entire question by pointing at something else and making a noise. Oh, he’s smart.
He obviously has a vocabulary. For about two weeks he’s regularly been saying “ats,” sometimes he’s quite vehement. It means something to him, we just don’t know what. During the Easter service, he repeated the word several times causing much anxiety between me and my husband. To the untrained ear “ats” sounds a lot like “ass” and I’m sure the people in a four-pew radius think we are unfit parents.
Anyway, so Saturday I was playing with The Baby and I tickled him and said “tickle, tickle, tickle,” which, by the way, I never do. Wouldn’t you know it, the little bugger said, “dickle, dickle, dickle!” I thought, no way. Certainly he’ll say “Mama,” or at least “Cat” before he bursts into three-word phrases (I know it's the same word repeated three times, but please don't take this away from me). So I repeated it and sure enough, so did he! I’m not sure that he knows what it means, but he repeats it on cue, so we’re going with it!
In the realm of possibilities, he went with the fun, awwwwwwww-inspiring phrase. There are phrases he hears a lot more often, “Eww, stinky baby” or “Get away from the cord,” for example. While I guess I’m bummed that “Dada” or “Mama” means nothing to our little cherub, I’m secretly relieved to be able to write “tickle” as his first word. I was starting to think it was going to be “ass.”