For what feels like forever now, I’ve been trying to get Maya to say “baby,” which was my first real word (besides “mama/dada”) at 11 months.
She understands what it means, for sure. If I ask her to bring me her baby, put baby in the stroller, give baby to Daddy — she does it. And as of the past two or three months, if I ask, “Where are baby’s eyes? Baby’s nose? Ears? Hair?” (She’d point at whatever I was asking for). So clearly, her comprehension of the word “baby” was good.
She is at that repeating stage now where she can’t exactly enunciate each word she is trying to say, but she can parrot back at least some of what she hears.
Yet try as I might, “baby” has remained elusive.
So the other night I decided to try something new, since clearly my attempt at teaching her “baby” wasn’t working.
She is obsessed with her V-Tech alphabet train, which comes with blocks. On each block is a letter and an associated object that begins with said letter. The block with “D” has a doll on it. So I said, “Doll” and pointed at the doll.
She looks at me, point blank, and says “Doll,” with a smile playing on her lips.
So then on a whim, I showed her the baby doll next to us on the floor. Instead of referring to it as “Baby,” per usual, I said “Doll,” pointing at the doll.
“Doll,” she parroted back.
I shared the story with my family and my brother said maybe the reason she won’t say baby is because it’s one of those words with multiple meanings and she knows SHE is a baby.
Um … no! I’m 100% sure that’s not it (at least, not at her age). I think she just wasn’t going to do what I wanted her to do, and was going to say it on her own time, using the word of her choice.
This was a good reminder that, as parents, we only have so much control over how they grow and develop.
I guess from now on we will be referring to “Baby” as “Doll” …
*I didn’t get the original time she said it on video but did get this later that night.*