On the whole, we have a mild-mannered child. She plays on her own. She laughs easily. She smiles at strangers. She “talks” in a normal human voice (though her recent words are “bwee”, “bway” and “glub-glub”, that all seems normal for an almost 8-month-old). She’s barely interested in crawling and likes to surround herself with cool toys (like a plastic measuring cup from the kitchen) as though holding court. Oh, and she LOVES to cuddle.
But every parent knows that as children grow, they start to (dare I say it?) CHANGE. Coming from a person who in the past 2 years has gotten engaged, gotten married, had a baby, bought a house and is about to launch a new division at her job, you’d think I like change. In fact, I do. But all change is not equal.
Our sweet LO (“little one” in the strange mommy code that exists on internet blogs) has been saying “DaDa” since January 29th. Softly, with confidence, to indiscriminately describe both of us. I have found her in her swing, waking from a nap, mouthing “DaDaDaDa” to the stuffed animals in a whisper of a voice. She loves it. Not so uncommon for babies to say “DaDa” first, as it turns out – or even to think it means something approaching “parental unit”. Apparently it’s an easier sound to make (sorry, dads).
So imagine my excitement when Zoe recently said “ma-ma-ma-ma”! So cute – and to me (she was looking right at me!) But “MaMa”, it turns out, has a meaning all its own. Zoe’s version of MaMa is often loud and means “SOMETHING HAS GONE WRONG AND YOU NEED TO FIX IT RIGHT NOW”. For example, mom and dad are leaving for work. Make it stop! Or, I am in a position that is about to induce sleep at an unwanted time. Relocate me immediately! Or, I know that you have put me in this car seat to ensure that I cannot see you or enjoy the fun things that happen in the front seat. I must get OUT.
You may think I’m kidding, but there’s honestly not a kind, gentle, whispered-to-the-nursery-friends version of MaMa for our child. At least not yet. For what it’s worth, I’ll take the mild-mannered child who’s clearly just doing her best to figure out the world over all the other issues we could have had along the way. So Zoe’s “In case of Emergency, Break Glass with Loud Version of MAMAMAMAMA!” will just have to do for now ;)
If you have any tips on how to quickly leap the “Separation Anxiety” hurdle, please pass them along (quick).