“Mama,” I said, pointing to myself. “Can you say ‘mama’?”
“Dada,” the Popple shouted.
“No, Dada isn’t here right now. Mama.” I pointed to myself again.
“Dada,” she whispered, smiling.
I sighed. “Dada?” I said, resigned.
“Dada,” she repeated.
Everything is dada these days. Her breakfast? Dada. Her shoes? Dada. The cat? Dada. Her toy laptop with the creepy old lady robot voice? Dada.
She’s tried out other sounds like nyeh, ba and ga, but none of them have had staying power. She even gave ma a go briefly, only to give it up in favour of da. The only other noise she makes these days is the raspberry, produced with maximum drool exclusively during meals or on crowded buses. She has no interest in saying anything else. I prefer her communicating via dadas than screams, but still – I can’t help wanting to hear an actual word amongst all those das.
I know each child develops at their own rate, and that children in multi-lingual households often take longer to speak. Still, there’s a part of me that worries that we have a Hodor situation on our hands.
(If you don’t know what I mean by ‘a Hodor situation’, stop reading and go watch all six seasons of Game of Thrones immediately.)
I would still love the Popple if she decided to do a Hodor, but there are so many great words out there, and I want her to be able to use them. Plus she’s got English, Spanish and Scots to choose from. Scots is especially full of amazing words. For example:
Meaning: Pale. Most often used, curiously, in reference to old carrots.
Meaning: Be quiet, as in “Haud yer wheest!” I always think this sounds best coming out of the mouth of a cranky grannie.
Meaning: Fine/great, as in, “See that braw craw (crow).” I say this pretty much every day, because it’s a line from one the Popple’s favourite books, Katie’s Moose, even though crows are evil murder birds and most definitely NOT braw.
I hope the Popple grows up to share my love of language. Until then, I am dada.
We are all dada.
And that’s okay.