Can I Get a Word, Please?
Ah, baby’s first word. Will it be mama? Dada? The insufferable baba? The first word is truly a milestone—one to be remembered for years to come. My ten-year-old niece swears her first word was candy cane. My scientifically minded eleven-year-old niece clarified that technically, the first word would’ve been candy. Either way, the jury is still out on whether or not she really uttered either of those words. I’ve yet to check my sources to see if she’s legit. But still, that first word is a biggie, right? For weeks, the little monkey has been riding easy on the mama, dada, baba, lala, nana train…all without any attached meaning whatsoever. And then, all of a sudden, he busts out with up. Up. Two letters. Accidental? Did he know what he was saying? Then, for a few days in a row, up. Two stinkin’ letters.
Convinced this was all a fluke, I encouraged myself: No, his first word will be mommy (or some variation thereof). But he persisted. Up. And then up, up, up, up, up, up. And almost as suddenly as he started saying the word, he began using it appropriately. Sitting on his little butt, he’d look at me and say Up. In his high chair, finished with his meal, he’d attempt to push his tray away and say Up. And just yesterday, his book fell to the floor, he looked at my husband, and said Up.
So there you have it. Monkey has his first word. And as it turns out, it’s quite the multi-tasker. I never realized how many times I actually say up in a given day until I heard it echoed each and every time. Sit up. Wash up. Zip up. Button up. Stand up. Get up. Pick up. Buckle up. What a freakin’ confusing word for a baby. As you likely know by now, I prefer to believe he’s a midget genius and is absorbing every nuance of this fabulous little word. It’s clearly proven quite useful for him in a variety of situations.
And, truth be told, I only have myself to blame. You see, back when he was about three or four months old and resting peacefully on his back (flattening his noggin, no doubt), his brilliant mommy would sit in front of him, extend her hands and say Up, up, up. At this prompting, my little puppy would take hold of each hand, do the best baby crunch I’ve ever seen, and literally pull his wee self up to sitting. You should see his abs and biceps. I should be so lucky. I mean, what baby has no belly? Mine. Anyway, from there, the sitting turned into standing. And the standing turned into walking…all while gleefully holding my hands. You can see now I’ve created this monster, yes? So why on earth am I remotely surprised that this is first word? You hear a word repeated, oh, at least thirty times a day for at least six months and you’re bound to catch on. Suppose I should be happy to hear all this up chatter. At least he’s listening, right?