The words are starting to emerge from my son’s mouth, usually garbled through the ever-present pacifier that he is refusing to relinquish (but that’s a post for another day!) I’m finally starting to feel like my son and I are communicating, sort of. There’s still a lot of whining and pointing when he wants something specific, but now he’s starting to use what sound like real words to communicate.
Like many other children, his first word was Dada (or Daddy, which he uses a lot as well). Naturally, Dada was thrilled with that one, but from what I hear it’s pretty common, because it’s one of the easiest things to say. No offense, Dada!
Next up was “l’eau,” the French word for water. My little guy is growing up trilingual, and spends most of his time with his Grandmaman who speaks to him exclusively in French, so it’s natural that many of the first words are coming out in French. Speaking of his grandmother, he’s now starting to occasionally pop out the odd “G’mama” when he sees her or when our car pulls up to her house.
Most of these words are pretty simple, but he does have a few more sophisticated words in his lexicon as well. Whenever a plane flies overhead (and it happens often since we live somewhat close to the airport) he points to the sky and makes a sound that could be interpreted as “avion” (the French word for airplane). Finally, once or twice he has said the word “dangereux” (French for dangerous) which his grandmother says to him fairly often when he comes close to touching or doing something he shouldn’t. That word required some creative interpretation to understand, but we believe that he was trying to say it.
What amazes me more than the words though is that he understands almost everything we say to him now, and he responds to our questions and instructions like “give me your hand” or “show me your nose”. He also has sounds that he makes for certain things, like “broom broom” for cars, trucks, and basically anything motorized or on wheels. He barks in a high-pitched voice when he sees dogs, and makes a similar sound for birds.
With the newfound ability to communicate comes a newfound level of frustration, though, and for all the fun he’s having learning words, he gets upset sometimes when we don’t understand him. I guess it’s only normal that he has so much he wants to say but his language doesn’t always correspond with ours. Especially when it’s a mash-up of three languages. I’m never sure if the word he’s trying to say is English, French or Greek!
Lately, we have been watching videos that we took over the past year and it is absolutely astounding to see what a difference a year makes. A year ago, my son was a chubby baby who couldn’t even sit up on his own. Today he’s a toddler who runs (a lot), has an almost full set of teeth and babbles incessantly. He loves other children and is always trying to hug them (usually taking them down in the process but that is also a post for another day). He’s truly becoming his own person every day.