First Words

I’ve never understood why a baby’s first word is assumed to be “mama” or “dada.” I get that it’s a repeating syllable, but those aren’t even close to being the words he hears most often, and Benji’s babble, which is elaborate in pitch, syllabic diversity and dynamic range, rarely repeats. He doesn’t go “ba ba ba.” He goes, “BeeeeYOOOOOvvvvvvvvvvvv(gutteral monster growl.) BAV! Err, namunbawn-bunnbrrrrrrrrrrr….. GEOWA!”

It’s quite cute. Sometimes it even sounds like he’s said a phrase appropriate to the circumstances, like when he asked the other night, “How’re you?” Which is of course something we ask him a lot. Jeffrey and I looked at each other and back at the baby and I said, “….Fine?” But I’m sure it was accidental. Probably.

I do wonder though if his first word or phrase will be something he’s heard often. If that’s the case, here are some likely candidates.


  1. Awww.
  2. I love you.
  3. C’mere, you.
  4. Bless you! (he sneezes a lot)
  5. Who’s my little guy?
  6. That’s okay, I can wash it.
  7. Where’s Benji? (peek-a-boo edition)
  8. Where’s Benji???? (panicked edition)
  9. I’ll be right back. Don’t freak.
  10. I said I’d be right back!
  11. Somebody’s sleepy.
  12. Somebody’s cranky.
  13. Somebody needs to snuggle down.
  14. Somebody needs to come home right this minute.
  15. Where’s Daddy? Where’s Daddy?
  16. No seriously where is your father.
  17. I love you.
  18. Good fart, babe.

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