Tikka Da-Da

Last weekend I got up early, leaving Robin and Sam asleep in the bed. I was first aware that Robin had awakened when I heard a gleeful “tikka tikka” (tickle tickle) coming from the bedroom. I stepped inside and saw Robin sitting on his daddy, tickling Sam’s belly. When he heard me come in he turned his head and said something that sounded a lot like “I tikka Da-Da!” Sam and I both traded amazed looks.

In retrospect, though, I’m inclined to be suspicious of the “I” there. We’ve never heard him use “I” before, or even refer to himself in any way (no “me poopy” or “Robin park” or anything like that). I think it may have just been a random baby exclamation, making the sentence something more like: “Aaaah! Tikka Da-Da!” Still, I’m counting “tikka da-da” as Robin’s first sentence.

Here’s a full list of Robin’s current vocabulary. These are words he uses consistently and demonstrates full understanding of their meaning. There are some others that I’m still on the fence about—we’ve only heard them once or twice, or he also says them in the wrong context—but these are all definitely words.

Tikka tikka

He also makes a sound to imitate a dog panting, and he used to moo like a cow when prompted, but his Fisher-Price farmhouse set broke and he hasn’t been mooing lately.

This list is growing quickly. Last week when I counted he only had thirteen words: he’s picked up “doggie” and “kitty” since then. Well, he’s been making a sound like “da-gi!” for a while, sometimes even while pointing at dogs, but it’s only in the past week that he’s refined it to the point where he says “doggie” while looking at dogs and not at other times. “Kitty” seemed to come out of nowhere at the same time that “doggie” solidified. Maybe he worked out that not all fuzzy creatures are doggies?

There are also other words he knows but doesn’t say: milk, shoes, ball, nose, park, etc; I can say “bring me your shoes” and he will, but he’s never said the word himself. So it’s hard to tell exactly how much he understands at this point; but he’s steadily expanding his vocabulary, which is so much fun to observe.

“Poopy,” by the way, is an interesting one. I was telling my mom—and didn’t quite realize the implications until I said it out loud—he rarely comes up to us shouting “poopy!” when he actually is. Instead, I’ve come to learn that I ought to check him ten or fifteen minutes later. He’s not telling me that his diaper needs changing; he’s telling me that he’s going to poop.

I mostly just thought of this as a funny quirk; it was only when I said it out loud that I realized he’s giving me perfect potty-training cues. He’s a little young for potty training (most kids, according to the baby book, are potty trained around two and a half) so I wasn’t thinking about it: but we do have a kid’s potty on hand and I might try offering it when he comes up telling me he needs to poop. We’ll see what happens.

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