Wednesday, February 02, 2005


Our fourth son, Sam, turned 19 months on Sunday. He's "talking" now. For those of you without kids, or on your first run around the block, here's some information that nobody ever passed along to me.

Kids start babbling around 9 months or so, about the same time their personality shows up. "Mama" and "Dada" may show up in there somewhere, or maybe not. Around 12 months, their first word shows up. This is also about the time they start walking, so if you miss one First while on a business trip, don't commit hari-kari. Try to stick around the next weekend, and you may catch the other one.

But after the first word, that's it for a while. They may never repeat that same word again for months (several of ours didn't). Don't sweat it.

Also, keep in mind that all times are estimates. Your kid may talk in full sentences by 14 months, or may not say anything at all for 2 years. I'd say don't worry about it, but if you're a first time parent you're going to worry anyway (we did), and if you have more than one kid then you already know how different each one is.

Our little guy, however, has added a lot of words in the last month. Here's what we've got today:
  • Mah-mee - Mommy - my wife
  • Dah-dee - Daddy - me
  • Mee-mah - Memaw - my mom
  • Dah-dah - Gaga - my dad
  • Pahpah (very fast) - Pawpaw - my wife's father
  • Nahnah (also very fast) - Nanna - my wife's mother
  • Dee-dah - Dee-dah - this is Stephen's nickname, but Sam appears to use in reference to any of his brothers
  • Bah-pee - puppy - anything he thinks is a dog (currently an Eeyore doll), also dogs on TV (this boy loves dogs, but only at a distance; we watch a lot of dog shows right now; God bless Animal Planet and the Eukanuba Kennel Club)
  • Dah - dog - another word for dog, follows several uses of Bah-pee; usually used once he is comfortable with the dog or TV show in question
  • Juu - juice - any drink he wants, usually juice, but also Coke, water, or anything that his mother is drinking
  • Hee-oh - here, or here you go - what he says when he's handing you something, usually from off the floor
  • Uh-oh - Uh-oh - something is wrong. Example: he came into the kitchen yesterday and said "uh-oh" while pointing back into another room. I followed him into the computer room, where he pointed to the computer and said "uh-oh" (actually, he had been saying it the whole time we were walking, about 7 times in all). Someone else had turned the monitor off. I turned it on and he was okay.
  • Pah-tah - Pop Tarts - his favorite food; heaven help us if someone leaves the pantry door open
  • No - yes - what he says if you ask him if he wants something and he does indeed want it; T did the exact same thing
  • Miyee - mine - self-explanatory
  • Way-o-way-o-way... - Larry the Cucumber - he has a Larry doll that sings The Hairbrush Song; when Sam wants it, he starts singing the chorus
  • Wah-wah - (what a parrot says) - he has a train that plays Talk With The Animals, along with parrot, pig, and cat sounds; when we've hidden it and he wants it, he asks for his wah-wah
  • Buh-bahee - The Leap Pad - which says "Bye-bye" when you turn it off.
However, as extensive as his vocabulary has become, Sam's main method of communication is to either point, scream, or both. He is the master of the double-point. If he wants me to take him into another room, he'll stand on the floor, point to me, point to the other room with the other hand, and either grunt or cry.

Better example: last night he was crying for no apparent reason. I came into the TV room to see what he wanted and saw him pointing to Blaze, our rocking horse. I picked him up and put him on it, but he kept crying, and pointed back to where he had been standing. Knowing I had missed an important hand signal, I put him back in the same spot. He again pointed to Blaze, but this time I watched his other hand, which was pointing to my wife (ok, not "at" her, but in her general direction). She picked him up and put him on the horse, and he immediately stopped crying.

Thank heavens he's not a Motie.

In the interests of fairness (a big issue at 4BoyHouse), here are the first words of each of the other boys:
  • Timothy - coke - we didn't think he would ever talk, but one day after church we had stopped at McDonald's and brought home some lunch. He walked over, picked up my cup and said, as clear as day "coke." I felt chastised and elated at the same time.
  • Stephen - mine - he and Sam are alike in many, many ways. Actually, Stephen was a prolific and early talker, and invented many of the terms we still use around the house (see below).
  • Jonah - night-night - when Timothy was a baby, he had a green fleece blanket named, appropriately, Green ("gee"). When Stephen was born, we gave it to him as his main blanket. He loved it and carried it around everywhere (actually, he still does), calling it his "night-night." The name stuck, and when my marvelous sister gave us a yellow one for Jonah, we called it "night-night" as well. So his first word was "nye-nye", which he said while in his crib. I went and found it immediately.


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