You'll never forget the first time your baby says, "mama" or "dada." It's a moment of cuteness that will etch itself on your heart forever. From what I hear, it's also a moment we'll cling to in their teen years, when we're only addressed before a request for money. But I digress!
Once my son started talking, I found that he was really eager to keep the momentum going. New attempts at words came at me a mile a minute. Then there came a time when he was talking, yet I was the only one who understood his unique, amateur enunciations. I relished in my role as his interpreter to the outside world.
Once he mastered phrases he mastered sentences. And once he mastered sentences I was flooded with questions. "Why?” was an ever-popular mantra in our house. If your child is anything like mine you are sure to hear it more than you ever thought you would. It can be tiring, sure, but there’s no doubt your two-way conversations will be more gratifying than those unanswered monologues from baby’s first year.
A tricky side bar to all this cute conversation occurred when my young talker started repeating everything I said. I mean everything. This led to all kinds of new milestones, like the first time he threw me under the bus by repeating something he shouldn't, or the first time he let a curse fly. These firsts seemed to always, unfortunately, occur in public, when I'd least like them to.
With practice I became adept at sensing when these transgressions were about to occur and, once I honed my skills, learned to cough really loud to cover it.
Viv Schaffel is a freelance journalist and essayist who writes for a vast array of publications, including CBS Watch!, The New York Times, Working Mother and The New York Post. She writes/performs sketch comedy and is an upstanding member of US Weekly’s Fashion Police, poking fun at red carpet risks.
Parenting advice is given as a suggestion only. We recommend you also consult your healthcare provider.