Power of babble

It seems like yesterday that Maddi did nothing but eat, sleep, poop and offer up the occasional smile. Much to my ever-increasing dismay, our wee girl just grows up more and more quickly. In recent weeks, she’s been sitting with minimal support, working on her one-handed motor skills, and grabbing and attempting to drink from the cup we use to rinse her in the bath.

And most importantly, she’s honing her verbal proficiency. Chris and I were so excited when (in addition to bleating like a lamb while passing gas) Maddi started saying “ah-goo” at barely a month old — a skill “What to Expect” told us not to expect until she was four months old. Alas, as with most parents who fancy themselves the progenitors of genii, our early hopes were quickly dashed when Maddi failed to begin uttering grammatically impeccable sentences full of five-syllable words by her third month. Week after week went by, and still Maddi failed to tire of “ah-goo,” “glurhh,” “ah-ba” and the ever-popular raspberry.

But finally, our little prodigy has tired of these childish utterings and has moved on to bigger and better things (proving once and for all that our baby, is as we suspected, a future prizewinner of the Pulitzer or Nobel variety — we’re not picky!).

First there was “ahh-oooh,” right on time sometime between months two and three. And we’re not sure when she’s supposed to say them, because they’re not in any infant-development literature I’ve read so far, but our exceptional offspring is now coming forth with such verbal gems as, “moo-moo,” “boo-boo,” “doo-doo” and “doo-boo.” And just when you think she’s going to say “moo-moo” or “boo-boo” again, she comes up with “lala,” “momo” and “bobo.” Brilliant! Brilliant, I say!

Some babies her age may be inadvertently saying the names of their parents, but not Maddi! Our wee one is telling us what the cow says, pointing out injuries and dirty diapers, and telling us in Korean that she would like some tofu. Yes, it is certain that we have a great mind in our midst.

But being a renaissance baby doesn’t come easy. Little Mozart had to learn to play the piano before composing his operas and concertos. Little Da Vinci had to hit the sketchbook long and hard before conceiving “The Last Supper” and immortalising “Mona Lisa.” In order to attain her amazing verbal feats, wee Maddux spends hours practicing her oratorial skills. From the crib, late at night, we can hear our wee one saying “moo-moo-moo.” While eating, she often pauses, wide-eyed, to utter a thankful “boo-boo-boo.”

And today, while riding in the car, Chris and I were treated to a performance of … well, we’re not sure what it was. The closest thing to which we could approximate it was a tiny, high-pitched bear growling contentedly. Still, what parents can boast that their baby, just shy of five months, has approximated not one but TWO animal noises?

So far, she hasn’t yet asked for her dinner in a complete, well-composed sentence. But, clearly, it is only a matter of time!

And here she is: Our 21-week old wunderkind, who is clearly (and we’re not just saying this because we’re her proud parents) the most intelligent baby on the planet. (So smart is our wee one, in fact, that she quickly tired of her shiny new high chair when she realized that, unlike the others at the table, she had nothing to eat.) Her newest trick, which we noticed tonight, is smiling whenever we pull out the camera, no matter how tired and crabby she was 2 seconds earlier. I think she realizes that when the shiny box comes out, Mommy will soon be making silly faces and saying “Boogie-boogie-boo!” — and it doesn’t take a genius to tell you that is high comedy right there.

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