Children's first words

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Children's first words

Postby zenten » Sun Mar 23, 2008 11:56 pm UTC

Ok, so Kerry and I have talked about it, and we think it's safe to say James' first word is "milk", or "ilq" as he says it.

He's been saying it with meaning for the past week or so, and given that he only says it when he's hungry, or when eating (he somehow manages to talk while breastfeeding, we're not quite sure how), I'm pretty confident it's an actual word.

He's only 9 weeks old.

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Re: My son's first word

Postby tiny » Mon Mar 24, 2008 10:54 am UTC

Awwww, that's cute :-) Are you going to teach him something weird now? :-D

After I figured out 'Mama' and 'Papa', my dad taught me to say 'Zylinderkopfdichtung' (cylinder head gasket).
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Re: My son's first word

Postby zenten » Mon Mar 24, 2008 12:04 pm UTC

Well, he has all the sounds to say "Hookah" properly.

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Re: Children's first words

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Mar 24, 2008 6:32 pm UTC

Changed the topic title to be more generally applicable to the forum at large.

My first word was, I think, "kitty". And if it wasn't her first word, "light" was definitely one of the ones my sister used most often when she was really young.
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Re: Children's first words

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Mon Mar 24, 2008 11:39 pm UTC

Mine was "duck". My little brothers all had "mama" or "bubba".
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Re: Children's first words

Postby 4=5 » Tue Mar 25, 2008 2:35 am UTC

my sister's was "shit". there is a cute story of when she was little. she went up the stair case with each step saying "fuck" like she was counting them

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Re: Children's first words

Postby Robin S » Tue Mar 25, 2008 2:52 am UTC

My first word was "mummy" in Hebrew; my first sentence, or use of words in conjunction with each other, was "I don't want to" in Hebrew. My first English 'sentence' was "Brick head ground", upon falling out of my pushchair whilst holding a plastic brick. I don't know what my first Engish word was, but it was probably "mummy" or something similar.
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Re: Children's first words

Postby Fieari » Thu Mar 27, 2008 3:13 pm UTC

My oldest brother didn't have a first word, he had a first sentence.

"Up there, in the sky, on the moon, there are three men walking around."

It was shortly after having seen the Apollo moon landing. Pretty damn impressive for one's first vocal utterance. Must have been saving it up for a while.
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Re: Children's first words

Postby sophyturtle » Tue Apr 01, 2008 8:11 pm UTC

My first sentence was "Everything here is mine."

I was in my room talking to my aunt, at like 2 or something. My mom talks about how they counted how many words my brother knew at 2 and by 1 and 1/2 they gave up counting for me. Too bad I never learned to spell....
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Re: Children's first words

Postby apricity » Sat Apr 05, 2008 6:05 pm UTC

Mine and my sister's were both "mama". My brother's was "numnums," meaning food.
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Re: Children's first words

Postby zenten » Sun Apr 06, 2008 12:49 am UTC

So he's saying "milk", "hungry" and "monkey" now. However, he's using them less and less in context (ok, monkey was never really in context). Any idea why?

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Re: Children's first words

Postby Robin S » Sun Apr 06, 2008 1:06 am UTC

I know nothing about child psychology, but my guess would be that they're the only words he knows so far, and he's trying to find ways to use them to refer to other things. Try teaching him a few words, maybe, and seeing how it goes.
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Re: Children's first words

Postby ZLVT » Sun Apr 06, 2008 5:29 am UTC

zenten wrote:So he's saying "milk", "hungry" and "monkey" now. However, he's using them less and less in context (ok, monkey was never really in context). Any idea why?


or possibly that he has a tool with which he knows that he can communicate so he enjoys doing it because he knows it'll get him a reaction which is a new power
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Re: Children's first words

Postby zenten » Sun Apr 06, 2008 1:02 pm UTC

Robin S wrote:I know nothing about child psychology, but my guess would be that they're the only words he knows so far, and he's trying to find ways to use them to refer to other things. Try teaching him a few words, maybe, and seeing how it goes.


Well, it's not like we exactly "taught" him those words, we just used them a lot, and he spoke them. He hasn't used other words yet that we also use a lot around him, like "diaper".

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Re: Children's first words

Postby Robin S » Sun Apr 06, 2008 2:36 pm UTC

zenten wrote:Well, it's not like we exactly "taught" him those words, we just used them a lot, and he spoke them.
That's what I meant. If you consistently use certain words unambiguously in conjunction with certain objects or actions, he might pick them up.
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Re: Children's first words

Postby Belial » Mon Apr 07, 2008 12:39 am UTC

My first word was "Up."

It applied to anything that was above my head. Lightswitches. Ceiling fans. Tall buildings. Birds. Planes. They were all simply "Up".
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Re: Children's first words

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Mon Apr 07, 2008 12:43 am UTC

Mine: Apple juice (apjoose)
Son's: Bottle (baaawl)
Daughter's: Hello (hehh-oww)

First words are sort of wierd.... first sentences are way more fun.

EDIT: Also, if her first word is at 9 weeks, you can expect her to learn to drive shortly after her 3rd birthday, and graduate college by the age of 5.
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Re: Children's first words

Postby Timequake » Mon Apr 07, 2008 1:23 am UTC

My first word was "dog". I don't know what those of my siblings were, but I do know that my cousin picked up sign language (specifically, words such as "more", "food", etc.) before he could actually speak.
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Re: Children's first words

Postby Yakk » Mon Apr 07, 2008 2:34 am UTC

zenten wrote:Ok, so Kerry and I have talked about it, and we think it's safe to say James' first word is "milk", or "ilq" as he says it.

He's been saying it with meaning for the past week or so, and given that he only says it when he's hungry, or when eating (he somehow manages to talk while breastfeeding, we're not quite sure how), I'm pretty confident it's an actual word.

He's only 9 weeks old.


Awww...

Apparently babies voice boxes are in a different location, which allows them to both eat (well, drink) and breathe at the same time. Adult voice boxes (and even young kids) have moved, which gives them better voice box powers, but loses the ability to drink and breathe at the same time...

Speaking of which: are you guys gonna go with baby sign? It is all the rage nowadays apparently.
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Re: Children's first words

Postby zenten » Mon Apr 07, 2008 2:44 am UTC

Mighty Jalapeno wrote:EDIT: Also, if her first word is at 9 weeks, you can expect her to learn to drive shortly after her 3rd birthday, and graduate college by the age of 5.


We're just glad that his interest in language has put his interest in moving around on the back burner. He was able to lift himself up on his hands in the hospital, and was starting to roll around before he started talking, and now he tends to stay fairly still. This means we have a bit more time to baby proof the house.

Yakk wrote:Apparently babies voice boxes are in a different location, which allows them to both eat (well, drink) and breathe at the same time. Adult voice boxes (and even young kids) have moved, which gives them better voice box powers, but loses the ability to drink and breathe at the same time...


Hmmm... he can't actually, and hasn't been able to since birth. Yay my son's a mutant!

Yakk wrote:Speaking of which: are you guys gonna go with baby sign? It is all the rage nowadays apparently.


We were thinking about it, but he's already talking anyway, and actually created his own sign for hungry before he talked anyway, by rubbing his cheek. We used to rub his cheek a lot to see if his rooting instinct would kick in, to see if he was hungry.

Of course now he's teething so that doesn't work well, as babies tend to rub their cheeks a lot (and grab their ears) when their mouths hurt.

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Re: Children's first words

Postby GodShapedBullet » Mon Apr 07, 2008 2:55 am UTC

Sir_Elderberry wrote:Mine was "duck". My little brothers all had "mama" or "bubba".


My older brother's first word was "duck" and mine was something lame like "mama" or "baba". I've always felt very jealous and a bit inferior because my first word wasn't nearly as cool as his.

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Re: Children's first words

Postby Yakk » Mon Apr 07, 2008 3:42 am UTC

http://books.google.ca/books?id=sBbfGsD ... Sid4&hl=en

Apparently is usually happens around 3 months (in the first 6 months).

Neat tie in in the above article to gesture based speech (ie, that talking was a latecomer to language).
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Re: Children's first words

Postby Droooo » Mon Apr 07, 2008 6:56 pm UTC

Possibly not his first word but my brother used the word "thy" to mean "yes" for over a year, which was strange.
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Re: Children's first words

Postby ZLVT » Sat Apr 12, 2008 4:35 pm UTC

Yakk wrote:
Speaking of which: are you guys gonna go with baby sign? It is all the rage nowadays apparently.


do elaborate...
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Re: Children's first words

Postby zenten » Sat Apr 12, 2008 4:43 pm UTC

ZLVT wrote:
Yakk wrote:
Speaking of which: are you guys gonna go with baby sign? It is all the rage nowadays apparently.


do elaborate...


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baby_sign

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Re: Children's first words

Postby 4=5 » Sun Apr 13, 2008 1:06 am UTC

I don't see much cost to it and I always wanted to teach my children sign language so that they could communicate more extensively .

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Re: Children's first words

Postby ZLVT » Sun Apr 13, 2008 2:11 am UTC

zenten wrote:
ZLVT wrote:
Yakk wrote:
Speaking of which: are you guys gonna go with baby sign? It is all the rage nowadays apparently.


do elaborate...


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baby_sign


hmmm, yeah, I intend for my children to be at least trilingual (Engloish, esperanto and magyar, might go for 4, if my partner has her own language) so signlangauge may be good.
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Re: Children's first words

Postby btilly » Sun Apr 13, 2008 7:33 am UTC

zenten wrote:Ok, so Kerry and I have talked about it, and we think it's safe to say James' first word is "milk", or "ilq" as he says it.

He's been saying it with meaning for the past week or so, and given that he only says it when he's hungry, or when eating (he somehow manages to talk while breastfeeding, we're not quite sure how), I'm pretty confident it's an actual word.

He's only 9 weeks old.

Don't expect it to stay. It has no real meaning for him. It is just a more effective way of crying. But he has no idea what it is about that sound that makes it effective, and he can't reliably improve it or keep it from degrading.

I speak from experience. My son Sam's first "word" was "mama" at 3 months. We were so proud. And he clearly learned it meant milk. This was incredible for us. It was good while it lasted. Which was less than 2 months until "mama" lapsed into something that even we couldn't figure out. Then we were back to guessing.

ZLVT wrote:hmmm, yeah, I intend for my children to be at least trilingual (Engloish, esperanto and magyar, might go for 4, if my partner has her own language) so signlangauge may be good.

Don't do this. Young children who are learning multiple languages need to keep them straight somehow. What I've read is that the best way is to make each caregiver only talk verbally in one language. (Sign language and verbal languages are sufficiently distinct that kids don't get them confused.) So you should pick one language, probably Magyar, and insist on talking in that one. Your SO can talk in another. And so on.

A kid who grows up speaking more than one language can easily learn others later. But if you try to talk multiple, the kid will get confused and only learn to talk in one.
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Re: Children's first words

Postby ZLVT » Sun Apr 13, 2008 8:37 am UTC

btilly wrote:
ZLVT wrote:hmmm, yeah, I intend for my children to be at least trilingual (Engloish, esperanto and magyar, might go for 4, if my partner has her own language) so signlangauge may be good.

Don't do this. Young children who are learning multiple languages need to keep them straight somehow. What I've read is that the best way is to make each caregiver only talk verbally in one language. (Sign language and verbal languages are sufficiently distinct that kids don't get them confused.) So you should pick one language, probably Magyar, and insist on talking in that one. Your SO can talk in another. And so on.

A kid who grows up speaking more than one language can easily learn others later. But if you try to talk multiple, the kid will get confused and only learn to talk in one.


Seems like solid enough advice, that being said, I was raised billingual, however, I can't rmember how. I know my parents tried to get me to do Magyar at home (which I used to refuse, now I physically can't speak to them in English) and I did English at pre-school (amusing story, my english was good, like really good but i didnt use it, they -the preschool- refused to belive that I could speak english until I asked "Nanny, can I put this [a used tissue] in the bin?" [it was a strict place and I didnt want to put a toe wrong] I can vividly remember the look of shock horror when the realised I could speak) Anyway, so I'll have to ask about that. I figure that once my child is 3 or 4 they will be well versed enough that we can move on to some Esperanto.
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Re: Children's first words

Postby Yakk » Sun Apr 13, 2008 1:44 pm UTC

Apparently billigual children end up building a "mega-language" which contains both quite often. If you live near an area full of bilingual people (like Quebec), you'll run into it if you overhear families talking to each other: words swap between languages 5 times a sentence.
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Re: Children's first words

Postby ZLVT » Sun Apr 13, 2008 2:00 pm UTC

not onyl that, but I'll say and english word and tack magyar inflections ont he end

since i dont know the word for mollest:

megmollestálta (he/she mollested him/herŰ
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Re: Children's first words

Postby Dobblesworth » Wed Apr 23, 2008 11:39 am UTC

As a child, my first fully-pronounced word, beyond utterances like "Bi'beh" (my teddy who went on to be officially known as Bigbear), was "thistle." I have no idea why my full vocal pronunciation set-up kicked in at such an arbitrary time as being introduced to flora and fauna up in Scotland.

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Re: Children's first words

Postby michaelandjimi » Wed Apr 23, 2008 12:24 pm UTC

Being able to fly is also an impressive feat for a nine week old baby.

I was boring too... "Dad"
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Re: Children's first words

Postby vqcg » Wed Apr 23, 2008 12:44 pm UTC

My first word was "no!"
Closely followed by "mine!"
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Re: Children's first words

Postby steewi » Thu Apr 24, 2008 1:08 am UTC

btilly wrote:
ZLVT wrote:hmmm, yeah, I intend for my children to be at least trilingual (Engloish, esperanto and magyar, might go for 4, if my partner has her own language) so signlangauge may be good.

Don't do this. Young children who are learning multiple languages need to keep them straight somehow. What I've read is that the best way is to make each caregiver only talk verbally in one language. (Sign language and verbal languages are sufficiently distinct that kids don't get them confused.) So you should pick one language, probably Magyar, and insist on talking in that one. Your SO can talk in another. And so on.

A kid who grows up speaking more than one language can easily learn others later. But if you try to talk multiple, the kid will get confused and only learn to talk in one.


Citation needed? The child isn't going to get particularly confused. They tend to pick up the "easiest" (definition vague) of the possible words at first, and will use whichever comes to hand. This can confuse the child's parents, but the child won't be particularly put off. Later on, the child will recognise that there are two (or three) systems going on and start to separate them. They'll end up a little behind on language development for a short while as they do that, but then they'll jump ahead faster than monolingual children.

The important thing if you want a child to learn multiple languages is to have two way dialogue (both passive and active - i.e. with the child and with others) in each language frequently.

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Re: Children's first words

Postby btilly » Thu Apr 24, 2008 6:43 am UTC

steewi wrote:
btilly wrote:Don't do this. Young children who are learning multiple languages need to keep them straight somehow. What I've read is that the best way is to make each caregiver only talk verbally in one language. (Sign language and verbal languages are sufficiently distinct that kids don't get them confused.) So you should pick one language, probably Magyar, and insist on talking in that one. Your SO can talk in another. And so on.

A kid who grows up speaking more than one language can easily learn others later. But if you try to talk multiple, the kid will get confused and only learn to talk in one.

Citation needed? The child isn't going to get particularly confused. They tend to pick up the "easiest" (definition vague) of the possible words at first, and will use whichever comes to hand. This can confuse the child's parents, but the child won't be particularly put off. Later on, the child will recognise that there are two (or three) systems going on and start to separate them. They'll end up a little behind on language development for a short while as they do that, but then they'll jump ahead faster than monolingual children.

This is what I've read in several articles that I've seen, and I think a book or two. Sorry I can't be more specific than that, but some of it is material that was a handout in a parenting class I was in, and at least one was a newspaper article I read.

Unfortunately I don't have any online citation. However having talked with a number of co-workers who speak multiple languages and have kids, the ones who actively kept one language per adult seem to have much better luck in having kids that grow up speaking multiple languages, while the ones who don't wind up with kids who may understand several languages, but who gravitate towards speaking only one. (In these parts, English.)
steewi wrote:The important thing if you want a child to learn multiple languages is to have two way dialogue (both passive and active - i.e. with the child and with others) in each language frequently.

This requires cooperation from the child. As parents discover, children do not always cooperate. ;)

The rule "this person only talks to me in language X" seems to be maintainable. The rule "we switch languages every so often" seems to generate resistance.
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Re: Children's first words

Postby ave_matthew » Thu Apr 24, 2008 5:56 pm UTC

the discussion on multilingual babies


The more you speak/hear a language the more you will learn it, yeah having one parent talk in one and the other in a second will make it easier to pick up on but will also , sometimes, create a (temporary) barrier of preference in the mind, so the child will only speak in the language in which they are spoken to.
Ex. dad -> baby, French| mom-> baby, English
now the child will prefer French with the dad, and English with the mom.

not any real challenge, but it will end in that the child will have a non-true associativity of the language.

I learned French via immersion, not the best way to do it but wha-d'ya-wã(what do you want :p ), anyhow, so did many of my friends, both them and me have some sort of odd association of French with school, to the extent that some of them will get quite annoyed if they are spoken to in French outside of school by another bi-lingual. One of them also refuses to discuss biology in English because it sounds so much better in French. monocotylédon(quite pretty) vs monocotyledon(hurts your ears).

Any how, I think that mixing your languages is a natural and unavoidable consequence of speaking more that one, if you don't mix them every once in a while, it's because your either very conscientious or not very fluent in one.

For anyone who speaks french, the other day I had been speaking French for an hour or two the switched to English and said.
"The formule is the number of people who became alive minus the number of people who are died and all divided by however many people there are."
Spoiler:
If you don't speak French or your English ain't up to snuff
formule = formula
"are died" should be "have died", but is one of the rare French verbs that take to be as an auxiliary
hence the French would be "La nombre de personnes qui sont morts" sont morts -> are died
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Re: Children's first words

Postby steewi » Mon Apr 28, 2008 4:18 am UTC

...polyglot kids...


It will always require the child's cooperation. There is nothing you can do if your child only wants to speak English. The language retention rates in Australia vary a lot depending on the language and a number of other factors (size of the language community, difference from English (more is better!), siblings, number of parents speaking the language, community programs, ...) but in the article I read, they were something between 6% (for the Dutch-Australian community) and 70-80% (Greek, Arabic and Chinese communities). The children often got a lot of advantage from having classes for the language in their community group, but it was also a big factor in giving it up (because it's embarrassing, hard work, etc.). There was also a lot of passive learning. In many cases, the child would grow up with their parent(s) speaking to them in a community language, and them replying in English. They could understand what was said to them, but could not construct a sentence and had a strong accent in anything they did say.

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ZLVT
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Re: Children's first words

Postby ZLVT » Mon Apr 28, 2008 5:40 am UTC

mm, My sister and I both grew up learning magyar* but our parents also taught us English. When I we emigrated (well, immigrated I guess), their English was poor but I picked up both English and Australian rather quickly, they, who had learnt English from Hungarian teachers and books, were lost with the Aussie pronounciations, abbreviations, and slang (for instance, large words will be shortened to the first sylable+O e.g. registration - rego) So likely they favoured magyar with me, and as a consequence, although I tried to reject it initially, now I can't speak to them in English (I develop a weird accent and feel discomfort, I'll prefer to say everything twice when in mixed company). My sister however, heard more English from them since, 2 yrs down the track my parents could correct natives on grammar and spelling. Now, she will listen to my parents speak in Hungarian but reply and speak nearly exclusively in English. Occasionally my parents will revert to English when speaking to her.

As regards associating languages with events or ideas, to me, since I grew up in a country where a large portion of the population didn't know that Hungary existed and promoted a sense of ... mono-nationalism i.e. They seem to think that an aussie is an aussie is an aussie and nothing else and living here makes you aussie. If I were to apply for a foreign citizenship, I would lose my Australian one, which my national pride resented. So to me, while I like English enough, and I'm very good at it (except for my poor spelling when tired) and I can do things in English that I can't do in other languages, I see it as ... "dirty". It's unpleasant and if I can speak to someone in another language, I will, because English is a sort of barrier for me, like a trade language that I resort to in order to speak to the people around me, but I don't see it as "my language" and if I were back home, speaking to me in English would be a round about method of assisted suicide, and I feel an uncontrollable rage and fury when I see little English-isms penetrate my language. E.g. menű not étlap and szendvics (sɛndvitʃ) for sandwich. The use of such conventions is a sure way to attract my wrath, being proud of your "hip English prowess" while doing so, is abhorrent. When I rule the world, I will cleanse magyar of such impurities.
Oh, as you may notice the words "Hungarian" and "Hungary" are not favourites, I will use "magyar" and "Magyarország" in stead, also speaking "In Hungarian" is expressed with the abverb "magyarúl"

[/rant-slash-introspection]

*for some reason I belive that we don't capitalise "magyar" except in "Magyarország" lit. "Hungarian country" i.e. Hungary
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Vala
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Re: Children's first words

Postby Vala » Thu May 08, 2008 11:19 am UTC

my first word was boring (like mama or dada),

my brother's was more linguistically interesting: socks. yes, plural. my uncle and dad wore these really long socks up to their knees (and have long legs being 6'8" and 6'2" respectively).

Also, my boyfriend's first 2 word phrase was also very interesting since it was a lie. His mother had business papers on the stairs and instructed him not to touch them. She walked away to grab the phone and when she returned the papers were strewn about. He looked straight at her and said "bad dog!" He's always been pretty clever (can't punish him for it since it was his first 2 word phrase).


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