Let me preface this post by admitting that when it comes to internet searches in Chez Doc Jess and Arizona, those that begin with 'why does my baby …' or 'is it normal if my baby ...' have taken on a resemblance to Youtube clips that begin with the fateful words: 'here, hold my beer.'
There's a whole lot of information out there, much of it contradictory, such that I can make a decent and scientifically supported argument for most anything. So when I've got a question, I ask my mom friends, do some research, pick a logical option or five, and sometimes run them past Arizona, who was a teacher in a past life. Then I try it on Wallaby, it either works or doesn't, and if it doesn't, I have some chocolate and try something else.
So it was that this week, we instituted the 'repeat and elaborate' theory of baby babble: when he makes a sound, we're supposed to repeat it back to him and then give some examples of words that use it. Which makes sense. But it turns out, it's not as easy as it sounds!
I'm not usually one for stage fright--I can get up in front of people and talk about most anything, whether or not I actually know squat about it. But ask me about my favorite songs, books or authors, and I'll probably draw a blank. It's like those word-to-speech connections get lost in the mix.
Turns out, the same thing holds for the baby vocabulary thing. The other day, it went like this:
Wallaby: Ba! Ba-ba-ba…
Me: Ooh, 'ba' is a good syllable. You can use it in all sorts of fun words, like ball and bat ... And … um … barrister. Barrimundi. Bandicoot. Er ... Badonkadonk.
Arizona (from the other room): Badonkadonk? Really?
Me: You think this is easy? You try it. Go on, I dare you.
(Arizona comes in from other room, makes funny faces at the baby.)
Wallaby (laughs): Baaaaa! Ba-ba-ba …
Arizona (opens mouth … closes it … looks over at me): Um … Barf?
Yep. Just call us a couple of wordsmiths. And send vocabulary links, stat!