Now that X-Man has mastered toddling, I am waiting rather impatiently for him to utter his first word.
While he has been baby babbling for some time now, I am somewhat unconvinced that his “mama mama”, “dada dada” routine is authentic. Perhaps the biggest giveaway is when X-Man looks loving at his daddy and shouts “mama” and vice versa. Either way, we’re not counting it as a bonafide first word.
The same applies to his repertoire of animal sounds. Sure enough, when we listen to his favourite animal song and it gets to the line about the sheep going “baa” he does indeed say “baa”, but this could be just a coincidence. As a new parent, when do you know when to call it?
According to my own mother, the first word to tumble out of my mouth was “garden”. I’ve quizzed her about this on many occasions as, to me, it seems a bit far fetched. Lets assume she is remembering correctly, however, then perhaps I can expect Xander to mutter some other outdoors inspired first word. Born and raised in Dubai, the word “gardener” may be more likely to spring from his babble box, although I sincerely hope that’s not the case even if he is obsessed with the man who comes to tend to our lawn.
One of the most common words for little boys to master seems to be “car” and if I had to make a guess, I think either “car” or “cat” (or more specifically “that naughty Marble cat”) will be the first ‘real’ words he treats us to.
As we prepare to celebrate the dawn of verbal communication, we are also mindful of watching our p’s and q’s for fear of him muttering a naughty word. I’m pretty sure such a thing is unheard of, but we’re not taking any chances, as the last thing we need right now is X-Man dropping the F bomb during brunch.
According to the experts, although not much is coming out of my one year old’s trap, he is like a silent sponge absorbing every word we say. It comes as no surprise then that talking to babies is known to aid their development and it can be astonishing how much they understand.
Even though it can be mind-numbing at times, I make a real effort to talk Xander through all the little tasks we plough through every day. From doing the laundry to making the next day’s sandwiches and washing the dishes, I give him a blow by blow account of mummy’s ‘to do’ list. My running commentary is down to more than a desire to get my baby talking, however. It’s also a desperate attempt to catch his attention for more than 10 seconds while I attempt to bring some sort of order to our lives by tidying the house.
Of course, none of it really seems to be going in. I have repeatedly shouted “Xander, look!” while waggling a fluffy bunny in his direction only for him to carry on rifling through his clothes drawer without even flinching. When he reaches for plug socket or pulls my hair and I say a firm ‘no’, this also seems to wash over him like a warm summer breeze with not even a flicker of hesitation form his side.
To be fair, I think babies are smarter than we give them credit for. X-Man probably clocks much ore than I realise and wisely chooses to ignore me while he can get away with it. For that, I salute him, and I too shall be biding my time until he chooses to mutter his first genuine word, whatever it may be.