Oll-E > Wall-E

Both are pretty cute and they even sound the same

I’ve blogged about all the normal baby and toddler firsts… I’ve talked about cleaning nuclear-like diaper messes and first solid foods… I’ve written about bubble wrapping and baby gating the house for their first steps. Now don’t get me wrong those are all hugely significant moments in time, but they all pale in comparison to hearing you child speak their first words. I’ve been in educational for nearly 20 years… I’ve taught children to read, to multiply triple digit numbers and I’ve taught children how to explain their thinking, but teaching a child to speak… that’s just magical.

Parenting is just a series of events that makes you feel equally proud and sad… watching your child become more independent each and everyday makes your heart both swell with pride for the amazing little being you are raising and also makes your heart long for the days when your baby needed you for everything. Like Elton John said, “it’s the Circle of Life” (I’m not sure if that analogy works here, but it sounds good so if you don’t mind, please just roll with it).

Listen, becoming mobile matters, it’s a huge step (pardon the pun) in the growth and development of a child. Learning to talk… to have a reciprocal conversation… is like the when the caveman first discovered fire, or first time you realized you didn’t have to actually flip open a cell phone to use it. It’s a game changer

Oliver has been saying words for a bit now… some much more clearly than others. But to hear him say his own name… I don’t know why… it was really cool. It was special. I know he has asked for juice when he’s wanted it and I’ve heard him yell, “dog” when Buster and Max were being naughty, but this… saying his name… I feel like it transforms him from a parakeet to a real person. I’m not sure why (especially since he was literally repeating his name), but just stay with me here… it’s my blog so I can write whatever I want.

Talking is transformative, getting to a point where you’re child knows his name, can say his own name and can string a word or two together changes an entire parent-child relationship I’m just hoping we are getting to the point where we can get a response from Oliver when ask him, “why are you screaming and what was the purpose of throwing yourself on the ground just now?”

But for now… I’ll take the slow and steady progress, even if he sounds like that robot WALL-E when he talks!

“Awww Sheeeeeet!”

By now you know from my writing that I don’t take parenting as a chore, I don’t pretend that it’s easy… and I surely admit to my mistakes. I also love to laugh at… I mean, with my children. Having a child is an amazing experience. It’s stressful, tiring and frustrating at times. It’s also the most rewarding experience in the world, especially as we find ourselves experiencing the many significant moments in our children’s lives, moments that show they are growing up (usually too fast!) One of those first major milestones is a baby’s first word(s).

I’m sure we’ve all heard about the crazy things other children have said. But for most of us the usual “momma/dada” or “mommy/daddy” combination is pretty common. Those two are usually standard for kids’ first words. For many children… it was usually only one: “mom” or “dad” (and yes, it really, really does matter which one comes first). Just ask my wife!

After “mama/dada” it’s usually a crap shoot which words come next. It could be anything. Our second little guy, Oliver, doesn’t care what you call what’s in front of him when it’s time to eat. As a matter of fact he doesn’t care what he calls it… he just wants more of “it.”

Right now we are stuck with the word “APPLE” as his word of choice. He seems to pretty much call anything that goes in his mouth an apple. And his other favorite word… well really anything he can throw, he calls a “BALL”. Developmentally… at least the words fit the context of what he’s trying to say.

Then again… I guess “ball” and “apple” are better than what he calls a fish:

“Awww sheeeeet!”

Five Things my Son Calls “Dah”

 
You imagine all these amazing milestones when you first learn you’re going to have a baby. First steps, food, words… Funny thing is it never winds up the way you thought.  His first steps are a few unstable stumbles and his first real food is some nasty combination of peas, zucchini and apples… But the first words… That’s what really throws you off.

1. Dah (Traslation: Dad)

IMG_5130
The original “Dah.” This one was easy; there’s not to much to figure out here.  “Dada” was his first word, so it’s not hard to figure out why “Dah” means dad.  I’m the first and I’m the best.

2. Dah (Translation: Dog or Buster or Max) 

Jax loves his brothers… I mean his “Dahs!” So much so he gets up to almost full speed and swan dives on top of them when he gets home everyday.  Coincidentally, “Dah” is also the same sound Busyer makes when Jax lands on top of him.

3. Dah (Translation: Toy) 

Doesn’t matter what toy… the singing donkey with two chewed off ears, the snail that gets body slammed daily, or the boxes he like to stack and then karate chop over… all referred to as “Dah”… Except for the creepy ass ride-on dog that asks “will you be my friend?”  That is not “Dah” that just makes the poor kid cry.

4. Dah (Translation: Book)  

I remember when he first laid eyes on a book… It was love at first sight… (If eating the pages and trying to rip the pages out equals love).  It took a lot of reading every night before bed… but now there is not a chance he goes to sleep with out us reading him a “Dah.”  As a teacher its pretty cool to see your son run to the book shelf and find his favorite book, take it out, hand it to you and yell “Dah”… now that I think about it… I wonder if “Dah” also means, “Please read me Chika Chika Boom Boom for the seven-thousandth time!!”

5. Dah (Translation: Yes)
So here’s the thing… Maybe he’s Rusian? maybe all the other words above are just his approval of the thing itself?  Maybe he’s just saying yes to everything… Is your dad the coolest dad in the world? “Dah!”  Do you want to swan dive off the couch onto your brothers?  “Dah!”  

On a side note every time I hear him say “Dah” I feel like it’s matter of moments before he turns into a Russian Bond Villian or I find out he was one of the extras in Rocky IV who were sent to keep an eye on Rocky while he trained.