I don’t know about other mothers, but for me the experience of having a child doesn’t really sink in until they begin to exit the baby hibernation stage and make conscious attempts to impact the world around them. When they try to influence the flow of daily events in their favor, to be understood, i.e. to send the first signals from inner space. That’s when I realize that it was an actual human being we brought back from the hospital and not just an incredibly lifelike RealCare Baby.
Now it’s Anton’s turn to awaken us from postpartum sleep. The more aware he becomes of us, the more aware we become of him, the more ‘real’ his existence becomes to us, the deeper the relationships we form.
This audio sample was recorded when Anton was 14 months (FEB 2014). It is the first official recording of his early efforts at affirming his little person. Although the words he uses can be counted on one hand, they already reflect traces of his personality and preferences.
Here are some of the highlights I was able to capture in this first clip:
- Calling mama and papa ‘caca’
- Referring to cookies as ‘Mmmmmmm, lette’, i.e. ‘Mmmmmmm, lekker’, i.e. “Mmmmmm, tasty’
- Saying ‘Norah’ as ‘Nnnn-na!’
I forgot to tease ‘Uh-oh, dada!’ out of him, which currently also forms part of his repertoir.
What can we already deduce? Well, for one he really likes cookies. But also that he’s a bit of a joker, judging by how much fun he has saying ‘caca’, whenever we come round begging for a ‘mama’ or ‘papa’, which we know he can pronounce perfectly, by the way. The fact that Norah’s name made it to his top three favorite words shows how much his sister means to him already, and how much he appreciates her and her silly games.
‘Mmmmmm, lette’ is actually the first thing we heard him say spontaneously. He pulled out an empty box of baby cookies from the recycle bin and expressed his approval by the now legendary phrase (at least in our little world). It was the father who figured it out, maybe because their love for sweet dough is mutual.
Funny. Now that I think of it, the first spontaneous word of his sister was “CHEESE!” I wonder if that says something about us as a family unit or something about kids in general, and how the quest for food is more vital to their early existence than any mom or dad figure. Impossible! I know they absolutely adore us.
Either way, that’s all hollow speculation at this point. For now, we’ll just focus on registering and deciphering the signals as best we can.