Her growing vocabulary

I have been amazed ever since by how intelligent kids are. With their little brains they’re able not just to imitate sounds but to react to whatever you say or do. When my daughter arrived to this world, I silently prayed to God to be able to keep my promise of protecting the child He entrusted to me, to nurture her and let her grow up as a good person. I believe the goodness of a person starts inside his or her home. Even those who grew up as good persons even if they’re in a bad environment must have witnessed at least once in their lives some goodness that have made an impact on them.

Well, that’s a pretty serious introduction. Haha! I was a little bit carried away… Well, I really just wanted to share here that I’m so amazed at how my darling little girl could speak some words already! She’s now 18 months and could say some words we could understand! Before she talks like some character from Jumanji and some kids older than her would tease her by repeating her babbles: “Dadada!” “Tutu!” “Pbbbt” “Labalablabla!” She doesn’t care anyway when those kids make fun of her but deep in me I would want to spank them back with some hurtful words too! Like, I so badly wanted to tell them they look like pigs or smell like sour sweat! Ha! It’s so easy to fall to the trap of these little kids and engage myself in a fight where I know I could easily win. But thank God I could still hold back myself. After all, I never wanted to teach my child to do the same bad things other people are doing. So what did we (or I) do instead? I smiled back at them and I encourage my daughter to even say more of her “words”. They can’t stop my daughter from learning how to speak clearly. Who knows, she might even become a speaker someday!

Now, my little girl just keeps surprising me with her new clear words. When I brought her along to buy something from the sari-sari store, she called for the tindera (vendor) “Ili! Ili!” That means “Pabili! Pabili!” (telling the vendor she’s buying something from her store). The vendor whom we call Lola Nita (Grandma Nita) was also proud to hear her say that word! Back home, when she finished eating her biscuits, she exclaimed with sadness on her tone: “La na… La na…” It meant “Wala na… Wala na…” (None is left…)

She has a lot of other words she can say already:
• Lola (Grandma)
• Lolo (Grandpa)
• Ugu (Ball) (Well, this is, so far, the most unclear word because in Filipino ball is called bola. As to why she calls the ball Ugu, I have no idea! Nevertheless, I could understand that when she says Ugu it means ball because she’s pointing at it.)
• Gogo (Good-bye)
• Tara (Come on)
• Hello (She says this when she picks up something and puts on her ear, imitating us when we make calls using our cellphones)
• Tit-tit (Tweet-tweet)
• Daddy (Sometimes, daddy would also mean mommy. I guess it’s more fun for her to say Daddy even if sometimes she’s referring to me! Haha!)
• Mama (I have never heard of her saying this in front of me. Her babysitter only told me that one night my daughter woke up crying and I was still on my way home from work and she said “Mama! Mama!” My baby must have missed me that much!)

Aside from her set of new understandable words, she can also sing! I remember a line from Abba’s song Thank You For The Music that really fits for my daughter: “Mother says I was a dancer before I could walk… She says I began to sing long before I could talk.” And yes, she’s already dancing even while she’s still in my womb (or maybe I just imagined that the cause for my tummy waves were because she’s shaking her booty). And the first time I heard her sing (or hum after me) was when she’s just 2 months old. I was singing a song by Alicia Keys while I was breastfeeding her and I heard her hum almost the same tune of that song! I was so surprised! And I wasn’t just imagining that because after that, while she’s growing up, she would hum some tunes she heard over from the TV. Later, she would try to sing some lyrics but of course they’re strings of “Bu” and “Gla” only with melody and timing! When she heard me leading a group of kids in their vocalization, she repeated after me: “Ho! Ho! Ho!” She’s taking it from her diaphragm! Would you believe that? I mean, it wasn’t really that perfect but I was astonished to see her doing it almost the right way! Yeah, you can picture a very proud mom! Haha!

It wouldn’t be long and my daughter and I could actually tell each other some stories, exchange ideas and point of views, and would finally hear her say “I love you Mom!” But here’s the irony: I wanted to keep her under my arms, freeze time and hold her hands tightly. I mean, it would be exciting to see tomorrow but that would also mean that she has to grow up and eventually have a family of her own. I’ve written this a lot of time and I still can’t let go of this thinking… That only if I could, I would really keep her away from the things that could hurt her. But you see, she can’t learn what Life is all about if she won’t be able to experience it. So for now, I just let her be. Let her start with “Blabla” until she’s able to say those words perfectly, whatever she’s trying to say.