b Papa Dog's Blog: All My Little Words

Papa Dog's Blog

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Wednesday, May 25, 2005

All My Little Words

Baby Dog turned eleven months old today and we stopped to marvel at how quickly (as the very true cliché goes) it all passes. Eleven months ago the possibility of our little girl holding her head up on her own, let alone sitting or crawling, seemed impossibly far off. Now it’s very difficult to remember that she really was an infant rather than a baby.

I’ve been saying since – well, since before she was born – that I really look forward to the day when I can have a conversation with her. That day gets closer all the time. We’ve noticed the strides her comprehension has taken, and it’s probable that she understands far more than we realise. We know she know who “Mummy” and “Daddy” are, and that she knows Doggy Dog by name. She also knows the names of all her favourite toys*, especially Hermione and Fernando. She knows that “nummy” describes pretty much any food on offer and that “Sippy” is the cup from which she drinks water. She can correctly identify the location of Daddy’s nose or Mummy’s nose (but not yet her own, which requires an extra conceptual leap). She knows that “Boom” is the sound that accompanies her wanton destruction of a carefully stacked tower of blocks, that “yay” is what you say when you clap, and “splash splash” is what goes on in the tub. I think she probably knows “ladybugs” and “Cheerios,” and likely knows all the words to the diaper-changing song: “Here we go wiping Baby Dog’s bum, Baby Dog’s bum, Baby Dog’s bum/Here we go wiping Baby Dog’s bum, early in the morning.”

We were joking a while back that her first word (other than “mamama” and “dadada”) was “burp,” because she said something like that after hearing someone (no names named) suffering a dyspeptic moment.** Well, we made such a big deal about it that it really does seem to have become a word she says. Whenever someone burps in her earshot, Baby Dog will announce, “Burp,” just to make sure it didn’t pass unnoticed. Actually, the way she says it comes out something like “Buhp,” which we’re choosing to interpret as an English accent. Maybe a fake English accent, like Linda Hunt, who sure doesn’t sound like she hails from Morristown, NJ, when she announces City Arts and Lectures. We’ve also been making such a big deal about ducks that that word seems to have stuck too. She has a rubber ducky for bath time, and tonight she referred to it very clearly (well, very almost clearly) as “duck.” Encouraged by the success of the ducky campaign, I spent a chunk of our rocking time before bed tonight going over with her the whereabouts of hair, mouth, and ears.

So… “mama,” “dada,” “burp,” “duck” and “num-num” don’t quite constitute the full complement of ingredients necessary for a conversation, but we are getting there, one word at a time.
*By the way, if you’re the person who commented anonymously on that post and you’re someone I know, please identify yourself.
**A technical case could be made that her first word was “Jews,” but I’m reasonably certain she didn’t know that sound was a word when she made it several months ago, and she hasn’t made any further ethnic comments since.


Blogger Judy said...

Her vocabulary will grow exponentially. I am so ready for my 7 mo to at least make some gutteral consonant noises, but being the second child, it probably will take a while. My older boy was chattering away by a year; we'll be doing good to have uh and pffffffft out of the way by then.

12:26 PM  

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