Bee’s most recent word is bubble. She almost sings it, letting each syllable bounce from her lips. It’s a happy word. It’s fun to say.
Bee has been speaking for a few months now. Her words emerged slowly, a little late, and I struggled to recognise them to begin with. Mama and Dada came first, contractions of the repetitive babble she’d been practising. One day I just suddenly noticed she’d shortened them.
For a long time I thought boon was a nonsense word, part of her baby chatter. Until one day in the supermarket, when she said it over and over incessantly. I followed where her little chubby finger was pointing, balloon. It was 4 weeks after her 1st birthday, the world had been full of balloons.
And just like that our little baby Bee was talking.
Now, the words tumble out of her on a daily basis. Some stick around, some come and go. She definitely has her favourites, and so do I. I listen eagerly for the next one, intrigued as to what it will be – a little insight into how she experiences the world.
So many of her words are happy exclamations. Woah punctuates every new discovery, a delightful surprise. And hurray marks the end of every song, tower built and jigsaw completed. But wheee is my favourite. It’s like she knows it describes a feeling of exhilaration, not just reserved for slides. For things she can see, but has never experienced. A bird flying, a horse galloping, penguins sliding down ice caps on their tummies. Cars racing, dancers spinning and cartoon characters on skateboards. It reminds me how much fun is in the world.
Bee makes language so exciting. She plays with the sounds. She turns everyday words into dramatic announcements. Shoes become a discovery to be celebrated. Like the uncovering of some long-lost treasure. And birds are shouted at with every sighting. Every car journey is accompanied by a background brrumm, and cheers acknowledges every sip of water.
It intrigues me and amazes me. What words appear, what words are useful to her. What she is interested in. She says far more than I understand, practise sounds paving the way for the real thing. The words are coming, it’s just a question of what, and when.
What first words did you hear?