In the past couple of months, I feel bubba’s main development has been in her language. She’s more confident in pulling herself to standing and scooting along the edge of the couch, and then crouching back down to the ground again. But her strongest steps forward have been in her talking.
Not that she’s “talking” in the sense of using words with meaning yet. A silly little pet peeve of mine is when people claim their child’s “first word” when actually they are still babbling. Sounds like “dadadad” and “mummmmm” are just babies playing with their mouths and voices for a long time. I personally consider a “first word” to be the first word a child uses with intent – consciously knowing that making this mixture of sounds is semantically linked with a specific object, person or meaning.
So I guess, in a way, Scarlett has kind of said her first word – “ta” (for readers in the northern hemisphere, we use “ta” to mean thank you, or in the sense of “ta to Dad”, meaning “give it to Dad please”). She now says “ta” whenever she wants something, and that something is usually food! Whenever she sees the punnet of strawberries (or as I like to call them, Scarlett-crack), she cracks a huge smile and starts expectantly chanting “ta! ta! ta! ta!” The other day I was cooking her some fritters and I gave her a bit to taste. As soon as she finished it, she looked up at me and started going “ta! ta!” So while “ta” may not be a complicated word, and she may not be strictly using it in the sense of “thank you”, she has still figured out that a certain combination of sounds has a meaning that can be used to communicate her desires… so I guess her first word is “ta!”
She also likes to babble away in her own Scarlett language. I love to hear her chatting! She makes sounds I’ve never heard a baby make before – she really likes to explore all the noises her mouth can make. One of her favourites is “gud” (which sounds disconcertingly like “good”). “Gud gud gud gud gud” never fails to make me laugh.
I like it when she sits with her books, telling her own little stories. She is growing to really love her books. I am a bookworm to the core and I have always derived a great deal of enjoyment from books, so I would love to be able to share that with her. Her favourite book so far is Hairy Maclairy, a children’s book by a New Zealand author that reminds me of my own childhood. I love it how she sits there listening, turning the pages and pointing to the pictures.
She has her moments, but she really is, for the most part, a happy chatty little girl. I am incredibly blessed that most nights (touch wood!) she sleeps straight from about 8 pm to 7 am (sometime with the odd grizzle for the dummy back in, but resettling only takes a few minutes these days). She loves daycare – hanging out with the other kiddies, getting dirty in the sandpit and eating lots of yum food. She’s learning to give dad kisses on the cheek – well, they’re more like open mouthed slobbers, but still!
In two weeks it will be her birthday and I can’t believe it! Life has changed so much and yet in some ways the time has flown. I am so blessed to be mum to such a beautiful little girl.