I can’t keep up with your frantic growth these days. I turned around, and all of a sudden, you seem taller, your face more little boy-like, your movements intentional and assured, your babbling approximating a language rather than being simply a string of incongruous sounds.
I think you must be burning energy like crazy because yesterday, you were unusually cranky at home after daycare until we fed you dinner, and you wolfed it down like you might not see food again for a long, long time. I read somewhere that I’m supposed to feed you until you’re no longer hungry, and you’re pretty good about indicating when that is: You’ll rip off your bib or start throwing your food on the floor. Last night, you just kept going. You tore through veggies, hot dog, mac n cheese and fruit, and you probably could have kept going, but it was getting late.
Daddy cleaned you off and plucked you from your high chair, cuddling you until I was ready to take you upstairs to nurse you. I started our routine: I filled my water glass at the fridge, then put it down so I could take you with both hands from Daddy. When I went to do that, you leaned forward, reaching toward me with both hands and saying, crystal clear and in your sweet, tiny voice: “Mamma.”
In that moment, my heart grew to a thousand times its normal size and I melted into a giant puddle. I felt like I might never stop smiling, and I grabbed you up and squeezed you. All of a sudden, from one day to the next, you know who I am! And you say it so naturally and so clearly.
This morning, we were sitting in the glider in your room, snuggling and waiting for Daddy to come in to play with you, which he always does when you’re finished nursing, so I can go get ready for work. You heard him outside the door, so you turned toward it and said, again in that clear, sweet tone: “Dada.”
So there we have them: your first words, appropriately reserved for the two people who love you most.