The way language forms in toddlers, there’s a period where parents aren’t sure whether kids are talking or not. Sometimes experimental proto-syllables come together in ways that sound an awful lot like language, but aren’t. And there are clear attempts at full words that nevertheless still manage to munge a syllable or otherwise fail to make it out of the mouth fully formed. Miles is in that phase now, where we’re just not sure whether he’s talking or not, but know he’s definitely working hard on it.

He’s also a big fan of Pirate’s Booty, aka “baby heroin” (yes, he eats a well-balanced diet and no, he does not subsist on junk; but he still likes his Booty). The other day Amy made the mistake of giving him some Booty before his proper meal. Needless to say, the subsequent attempt to switch from Booty to beans didn’t go well, and he kept pointing at the cabinet where the Booty is kept and grunting. Suddenly, Amy says, he said, clear as day, “boooo – teeee.”

Seems too context-perfect to be accidental, so we think “booty” is probably his first word. Or at least that’s what I really want to believe :) So far he hasn’t repeated it yet (despite our encouragement), so I’m not going to try and convince myself that it was. I wouldn’t mind hearing a clear “Mommy” or “Daddy” first.

Music: The Third Bardo :: I’m Five Years Ahead Of My Time

3 Replies to “Booty”

  1. I remember when a certain infant I once knew reached that phase. It got so his speech sounded like language, had its variations and rhythms, but nothing ever parsed out of it. For me. His mommy (but not his daddy) could occasionally understand what he meant.

    The eerie part was every time I fell asleep and hit that weird not-awake-but-not-asleep twilight place on the way, if Hayden (the infant/toddler in question) was speaking, it ALWAYS seemed completely obvious to me what he was saying, so I’d wake myself up and…realize I couldn’t remember a single word of what I’d just ‘understood’ him to be saying.

    I still don’t know whether I really was understanding him or whether it was just dream weirdness.

    Miles sounds like a fellow after my own heart: my first word was … what ‘duckie’ becomes when you put an F in place of the D. It’s what I called a rubber frog I had. Apparently this was such a riot, all my relatives immediately began buying me toy frogs, just to hear it.

  2. Nothing beats hearing your first child talk for the first time, well maybe the first ‘adult’ conversation you have with that child, but little else.

  3. matthias, I know what you mean about that speech making sense during sleep/wake tater state – I think it’s because they get a lot of the inflection right, and they do combine syllables and vowels and consonants so that it almost sounds like fully formed language. And to the dream state, that’s good enough.

    Great duckie story :)

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