May 7, 2008


I talk about milestones a lot here at Unfinished Dad. Most parents get too caught up in them and start comparing their children to other babies around them. This leads to silly competition and jealousy at best; it leads to even sillier lying at worst. How many of you out there have fudged your baby’s age by a couple of weeks to justify either their genius or your perceived deficiencies? Some parents will even post videos of their children to prove how smart and dexterous they are.

But how about when you can’t agree on what constitutes a milestone? Clearly rolling over and crawling are quantifiable and concrete. However, our household finds itself mid-argument about Annie’s most recent leap. Late last week she started (in my opinion) saying her first word. I have no idea if this is a word that I often use and I was a little surprised that she broke it out without any prompting. I was holding her in my arms and she casually said “Uh-Oh.” I don’t think she knew why she said it, maybe she was getting a poop ready, but therein lies the problem. Is a word without intent a word?

My vote is yes. My wife’s vote it no. Uh-oh is the first vocalization on Annie’s part that is not completely derived from sounds that she was already making. She can say da-da-da, but really this is just built on a crying sound that she has made for months. While I agree that she isn’t saying uh-oh to let me know that something is wrong, she clearly picked it up somewhere. Certainly it takes a new skill to make the glottal stop required to hyphenate an uh-oh. To do this a person needs to stop the airflow leaving the lungs by pressing their vocal cords together and then releasing the air a moment later. That’s a pretty cool thing to see your baby pull off.

To me when you couple a new physical skill with the know how to do something with it verbally, that equals speaking. But let’s be honest, the real issue here is whether or not I should stop cursing. I’m excited about uh-oh. I don’t think I would be too thrilled with douche bag; a word I use too much, much to my wife’s chagrin. So that’s two questions for you. Is Annie talking? Do I need to stop cursing?


Blogger Kristen said...

My position. It counts as talking when there is some meaning or intent associated with the word. Also, you have to stop cursing like a drunken sailor. It will not be cute when Annie calls some kid at mom's day out a D.B.

May 8, 2008 at 3:04 PM  

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