I’m starting to second guess how early babies talk.  Or my kid is a genius.  Or babies really do talk earlier than we imagine.

Two weeks ago, I was grocery shopping with Tornado S and Tornado A, rambling on with some grocery monologue.

Me: . . . And now we’re going to get some Parmesan.

Tornado A: Parmesan.

Me: That’s right.  Parmesan.  It’s a tasty cheese we put on pasta- Wait!  What did you say?!

Tornado A just beamed at me.  I’m sure it happened.

Last week, Tornado E was playing with his Star Wars characters.  Tornado A spotted him and crawled over with record speed.  He used Tornado E to pull himself up.

Tornado A: Brozzzzer!

Me: Brother!

Wait!  Did he do it again?!

Three days ago, we were at my parents’ house, and Tornado A wanted my mom’s plant.  He reached out to grab a leaf.

My mom: No!  Not your pretty.  Nana’s pretty.  (Nana because my mom is desperate for a nickname.)

Tornado A: (grinning) Yeah.

My mom: No!

Tornado A: Yeah!

My mom: No!

Tornado A: Yeah!

My mom: Fae, listen to this.  No!

Tornado A: Yeah!

Holy crap.

Then yesterday, Tornado A fell down and said Uh-oh.

It’s like all those parenting books are BS.

It also looks like I have another talker in the family.  God, we’re not quiet.

Words, words, words

A debate rages on in the household.  Over Tornado A’s first word.

Tornado E’s first word was dada.  Tornado S’s was mama.  Tornado A had to be the tie breaker.

Tornado A said mama first.  But I didn’t mention it to his father because of the separation and wanting his father to have his own joy of hearing a first word.

But after a week, Tornado A had not said his word in front of his father.  After a week, Tornado A said dada.  So his father believes that dada is Tornado A’s first word, and nothing I say will dissuade him from that belief, which he is vocalizing as gospel truth.

But then there is the baby book.  She who fills out the baby book, records history.

Dada? No, Mama.

Sean: Dada.  Dada.  Dada!  Dada!


Me: Oh, baby.  Dada isn’t here right now.  But Mama is!


Sean: (Grabs my hand to lead me to what he wants) Dada.


Me: No, Mama.  I’m Mama.


Sean: Dada?


Me: Mmmaaaaammmaa.


Sean: Dada!


Ok.  Listen, kid.  You’re adorable.  If your father was here, this would melt his heart.  Heck, it’s even pulling on my heart strings.  But I WILL NOT ANSWER TO DADA.  I can’t.  I can try, but it won’t work.  You see, it’s like this.  I carried you for nine, almost ten, months.  You were heavy.  I had horrible morning sickness and acid reflux.  You grew until I had no room in me.  Then after you were born, I was the one who fed you, changed you, rocked you, sang to you, read to you, bathed you.  Not dada, mama.  You ate tons.  I sacrificed hours to feed you.  When you were sick, that was me taking care of you.  Who held you and cooed to you as you got stitches?  Mama, not dada.  Who held you when you got shots?  Mama, not dada.  Who cooks you your favorite meals?  Mama, not dada.  Who buys all the gifts, wakes up with you early in the morning, repeatedly reties the shoes your dada picked out?  Mama.  It’s not like we even look the same.  I’m taller, thinner, and have a better pair of breasts.


Sean: Dada.


Me: Mama.


Sean: Dada.


Me: Mama.


Sean: Dada.


Me: Mama.


Sean: Dada.


Me: Mama.


Sean: Dada.


Me: Mama.


Sean: Mama!


Me: (hugging him tight) Good job!  Now let’s get you a cookie.



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Sean: (With great pride, points) Moon!


Me: (not sure how to proceed) Good try, Sean!  That’s actually the sun.


Sean: (insisting with pride) Moon!


Me: Close, Sean.  It’s the sun.


Sean: MOON!


Me: (sigh) Very close, Sean.  It looks just like the moon but brighter.  It’s a cartoon sun.  The moon comes out at night; the sun comes out during the day.  It’s day time, so that’s the sun.


Sean: (points, smiling with pride) MOON!


Me: (kissing his head) Good job, Sean.


There will be plenty of time to correct him later, right?

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Bye-bye, bra-bra


For many months now Sean has called Evan with great affection “ba-ba” or “bra-bra,” depending on if Sean could twist his tongue around the “r” sound.  Obviously Sean has been calling Evan “brother.”


But last week Sean has dropped his “ba-ba” (or “bra-bra”) and started using the most grown-up and appropriate term, “Evan.”


Now when Sean calls Evan, it’s “Evan,” not “bra-bra,” which Evan never answered to any ways.  Not that Evan answers to “Evan” either, but you do have a slightly better chance than calling him “hey you.”


Now when Sean sees a picture of Evan, he says “Evan” as he points, and the crowd went wild over this new development.  Instead of Mommy gleefully exclaiming, “You’re right; brother,” Papi and Grandma excitedly said, “You’re right; Evan.  Let’s try again, and give you a cookie.”


So now I mourn the thought of my baby growing up, wishing he could stay cuddly and young.  But of course, “no” can mean “yes” and “peease” can mean anything from juice to green beans to “pick me up” to “I want that toy that’s thirty feet over there.”


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