I don’t want to brag but my 15-month-old son is pretty darned smart. Every day, he astounds me with some new knowledge, skill or connection that he has mastered. He can give kisses on command, which he does in a totally cute way with a loud “aaaahhh-wahhhh!” noise to accompany the kiss. He will shake his finger every time the doctor in the book says “No more monkeys jumping on the bed!” He emulates us cooking by stirring the imaginary contents of his beloved pots and pans with a wooden spoon. He walks and even runs like a champ. Heck, he can (sometimes) dribble a soccer ball. The list goes on and on, but there’s one thing that I must admit to finding rather frustrating. At 15 months, he still does not say “Mama.”
After many hours of painful labour, scores of sleepless nights and two solid months of colic at the beginning of his life, I must say that I thought he’d be slightly more demonstrative of his appreciation for my role as his mother. I mean, really, as fun as his “Dada” is (yes, he says Dada) it’s not like he was breastfeeding his son for almost a year! You would think “Mama” would be the first word he would use.
To be fair, while he is an extensive babbler who can have long, rambling incoherent conversations with himself, he doesn’t really speak at all yet. His only word is Dada, which he uses for pretty much everything. He communicates well through the use of pointing, exclaiming with little noises and of course, whining. But he hasn’t exactly mastered the art of the spoken word yet. I’m being extremely patient on this point, given the fact that he’s growing up with three languages (English, French and Greek) and that I’ve read that boys tend to master speech slightly later than girls. I know he understands everything because he can follow simple instructions. And every so often, he’ll bust out something that sounds an awful lot like a real word but then never says it again.
I’m sure that I can expect him to become a real little chatterbox any day now, and some might even argue that I should enjoy this pre-speech period while it lasts. Because once it starts, it’ll probably never stop (until he becomes a sullen teenager). But is it asking too much for him to just say “Mama”?
What were your children’s first words?