Is "mama" next??

Reading to himself for the first time ever (2/13/09).

I'm not sure what it is, but I feel like Hollis is on the verge of a big breakthrough. I can see the gears turning, the hamster panting away in his little wheel, so to speak, I just don't know what's going to happen.

I can practically have a conversation with Hollis these days. His vocabulary is very much receptive at this point (he understands what I'm saying and what he's seeing). His expressive language skills have been recently centered around all words beginning with "B", but he's just branched out in the past 4 days to "apple". Quite a jump from mostly one-syllable "B" words!

All the books say that when a baby is learning to walk their language development takes a back seat; our brains can only process so much at one time and once the walking thing is under control then the brain picks up the task of language again. They call it the "word explosion" phase where little ones learn up to 50 new words a month.

The speaking thing aside he also can follow instructions like, "Take your socks off and put them in the basket!" It's so freaking adorable. He also recognizes animals in books, can point out flowers (real and in books), made up his own sign for "telephone", knows what the remote controls are for, recognizes people in photographs, can climb up onto things unassisted (that's a fun one), he waves at strangers, has begun to cry when we say "good bye" and anticipate pleasure when we go to the park or grandma's house. He imitates every household chore I do. Imagine my surprise to see him on his hands and knees with a towel "mopping" the floor. Anthony thought he'd made it up on his own. I had to [firmly, yet] gently correct him that he was imitating ME. Pfft - hell yes I'm down on my damn hands and knees mopping! Anyway...

Kids are so interesting. We, as creatures, are utterly fascinating. Hollis does all these incredible things, but he still doesn't call me "mama". He can point to "mama's nose" and "mama's ear," so I know he KNOWS I'm "Mama," and he says "mmmm" when he takes a bite of food and occasionally shouts "mamba!" so I know he's capable of making the word "mama," but yet he's hanging onto that one. The little jerk.

Any time he's come close to making the word I've jumped, laughed, and rushed up to kiss and tickle him (positive reinforcement and all). I'll clap with glee and say, "mama!" to him and he'll smile and look deep into my eyes and say...


Oh well. It'll happen eventually. I know that much, at least. But what is it about that word?? Maybe that's what he's working up to! Maybe he's going to surprise me one quiet, lazy morning and simply say, "Mama!" Ah hell, I'll be over the freakin' moon!!

I'm all about being patient, not comparing Hollis to other toddlers, relaxing the whole go-go-go, learn-learn-learn part of me and just letting things happen as they will, but I find myself yearning for that one word. Those two little syllables: ma-ma.

Surely I'll laugh in about 10 years when my son plaintively calls out, "MoooOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!!! Where's my backpack?????" at the top of his lungs from 20 feet away and I'll wish upon my last frayed nerve that'd he'd not do that because I'm up to *here* with all the "Mom! Mom! Mom!s" But right now, it's a magical word, a word of love, bonding, safety, sweetness, connection, and progress.

Aw... I think everyone should call their mom today.

1 comment:

  1. Probably not necessary to comment on this one since I know the epilogue, but it's kinda wild how you could tell it was coming...

    But I love the way you think he's holding out on you ("occasionally shouts "mamba!" so I know he's capable of making the word "mama," but yet he's hanging onto that one. The little jerk.") or rewarding all your excitement and clapping with "Dada."