Mama vs Dada
I’ve heard people complain that parenting can sometimes feel like a competition, but I thought they were talking about with other parents, not between the mother and father.
James is a great dad. He laughs with Baby, plays with her, and does her 23:00 feed every night and her first feed every morning. I’ll even admit he’s a better burper than I am.
The other day I walked in on him cooing to Baby. Aw, how cute, I thought. But then I heard what he was saying: “Da-da. Da-da. Da-da.”
“What are you doing?” I asked.
And without compunction, he answered, “I’m making sure her first word will be Dada. She already has the ‘eh’ sound down.”
Apparently, he’s been doing this for 3 weeks.
One thing you’ve got to understand about me is that I was served extra helpings of competitiveness when I was created. I think I may have mentioned before that I haven’t played the board game Risk since 1997 because I actually almost killed somebody when she broke our truce, switched sides, and decimated my armies in Asia.
So seeing James get the jump on me with the first word has been like applying jumper cables to my competitive gene. I’ve started singing to Baby all the time, but the only words of the song are “ma-ma-ma-ma-ma.” For example, Do-Re-Me is now Ma-Ma-Ma. And I spend significantly more time with Baby than James does. He chose the wrong Italian-American to tango with on this one.
Just watch, she’ll out-fox us both and choose a completely different first word, like “milk” – in a similar way that I’m sure she’ll choose pink as her favourite colour, despite my dislike for it (or maybe because of my dislike).
Babies can start saying words like mama and dada by 4-5 months. With one month already down, the game, as they say, is most definitely on. We’ll just have to wait and see which one of us will have the last word on her first word.