On Sunday Dovie started to babble. It was very exciting. She was doing her thing, rolling back and forth on a blanket or kickn’ it in the jumper or hanging out on my lap, maybe she was cramming her hands in her mouth, I don’t remember the details but then she started in “ahbababababa,” and I made a mental note. Repeating consonants- developmental milestone- I should record this for posterity. I realized that soon she would move from Baba’s to Mama’s and then I would start to wonder if she meant it or if she was just practicing.
I took a linguistics class in college. I loved it. We used the phonetic alphabet a lot. one of my French classes that semester was heavy on the phonetic alphabet as well so between those two classes I pretty much rocked the phonetic alphabet. Fast forward four years to when I wanted to write down Zizza’s sweet baby pronunciation of various and sundry phrases and realized that my skillz had faded with disuse. Bummer.
Anyway, we talked a bit about child development in that class. My favorite tidbit from the chapter was how as they’re learning kids will try a variety of pronunciations for a given word before finally landing on the correct one. Sometimes, they’ll give the correct pronunciation a try in the middle of the process and then move on to try an alternative or two before they learn which is correct and go back to using that. Parents occasionally notice this and think their child’s speech is regressing which is not the case, they’re just continuing through the learning process.
Monday morning my Dove looked at me and said “Mamamamamamama!” her meaning was clear, the syllable she chose to babble was right on. Clearly she’s a brilliant and gifted child who adores her Mama. I shall write in her baby book- First word “Mama” spoken at the tender age of 5 months. Of course the above paragraph doesn’t apply in this case. She may not have repeated her performance, may even have seemed to call me “Nnnghmm” earlier today but I’m still counting it.
No amount of education can stop me.