My son began talking at 9 1/2 months old.
In both cases, their first word was, "Mama."
My third born? Well, she's Daddy's girl. All the way.
Grace started babbling early on. We first heard strings of "Dadadadadadada" when she was around 6 months old. In the weeks that followed, she refined it to sound like, "Dadada Dadee, Dadada Dadee, Hi Dadee." When Daddy walks in the room, the rest of us might as well disappear. In Grace's eyes, he hangs the sun, the stars and the moon.
I've got to admit, initially, my ego was slightly bruised. I mean, I was the one doing the majority of the diaper changes, waking up at night, feeding her and walking her around until she fell asleep. Hearing that first word is the reward for all your hard work. And when that first word is "Mama" well, life just doesn't get any better. You're A #1 tops.
Grace is 11 months old now, and I have a hunch she's been saying "Mama" for about a month, only every time she says it, my back is turned and I just can't be sure. I'll be feeding her lunch, turn around to get something and I hear what sounds like, "Mama." I'll swoop around, my eyes wide and exclaim at the top of my voice, "Mama? Did you say Mama? Say Mama!"
At this point, Grace just stares at me blankly. My overzealous reaction obviously stuns her into silence.
Then, "Dadada, Dadee."
I'll turn back around, set to work on something and hear it again. Something murmured. Can't be sure. Sounded just like... I'll turn around to look at her.
Well, last week I finally got the confirmation I've been waiting for. When I picked Grace up from her afternoon nap, she looked right at me, stroked my cheek and said, "Mamamamama."
Ah. It. Was. Heaven.
There is nothing like the first time your child calls you by name. I don't care if it's your first child or your 15th. It thrills your heart. And while I may not currently be Grace's #1 most favorite person in the whole world, I'll happily settle for being #2.
Because I've found the snuggles are just as tender and the kisses are just as sweet.