Do we have a word?


Mariel was chewing on the plastic cookie attached to a flexible wand on her walker.

Francisco was in the bathtub.

Where was I? I don’t know- somewhere between the kitchen and the bedroom, cleaning toys, I think.

She looked up. She smiled. “Ma ma ma ma ma ma. Mom. Ma ma ma ma.”

“She’s talking! She said Mama! How do you feel?”

It occurred to me that I’d never questioned what language development really is. I mean, we practice sounds that lead to language, but is language development– in other words, our first word– really only our first word if we know what it means?

I don’t know, so I didn’t know how I felt. I picked her up and held her close to my chest anyway, and smiled. “Mama,” I said, pointing at me. “Papa,” pointing at Francisco. “Mariel,” I said, putting my hand on her warm, sweet cheek.


One response »

  1. When you reward your baby for saying your “name,” she’ll say it again and again. But I don’t know when it starts to mean you. I suppose only Mariel knows. If only you could ask! For now, hugs and cheek touches will keep telling her she’s on the right track.

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