Saturday, April 16, 2011

First Word

(Lunch with Abuelita.)

I don't know when you call it a first word.  Some people would have declared Enzo's first word a while ago but I just don't know what the requirements are for official declaration.  For example, he says "Mama" a lot.  But he never says it to his Mama.  He says "Popi" a lot.  But he never says it to me.  When I am coming in the door, Tami will tell him "Popi is home" and he'll say "Popi", get excited and run to see me, but he never says it to me.  He does sign language for several words so we know he communicates in words.  But today, Enzo said a word directly and audibly that I can finally say is incontrovertibly a word used appropriately with appropriate meaning.  And the word?…. Agua!

We were having breakfast at home this morning and I asked him if he wanted more agua (Spanish for water and pronounced, by me anyway, as ah-wah).  And he said "agua" reaching for his water container.  Awesome!  He did it a couple of more times after.  So, I don't know what his first word was, and I never before had thought to consider that the declaration of a first word depends very much on the criteria decided on by the adults, but I'll declare now that today, Enzo definitely spoke a word clearly and with meaning.

Tami and I had wondered what the first word would be and whether it would be in English or Spanish.  Agua makes sense as we say it often and consistently in Spanish.  In fact, our family says agua as well when speaking to him, perhaps from hearing us say it so often instead of water.  So this is one word where the bilingual input Enzo receives is minimized.

(Easter Egg hunt in Newark.)

I wonder now how long it will take for him to use the word primarily.  While he used it a few times today, his own version of the sign language for water continued as his his favored method of asking for water today.  Three fingers spread like a "W" and brought to the mouth is how we ask him if he wants water.  He uses his single index finger and brings that to his mouth to ask for water.  I think of it as equivalent to a childish slur in pronunciation of a spoken word from a young speaker.  But today, the word was audible.

The first confirmed word of Enzo Raines has arrived.  Agua.

(Walking with Papi.)

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