"Say mama. Say mah-muh. Say mamamamamamama", I would chant.
"No, Ethan. Say dada! Say dadadadadadadada", Mike would counter.
And it goes on and on like that. I thought.... one day, in a desperate act of self-preservation, Ethan will finally blurt out a badly garbed version just to get us to stop acting like idiots.
And last night, he said it.
He was happily playing in his exersaucer and I had just finished putting away dishes from dinner, when I heard a distinct "mumumumumumum" coming from the other side of the room. My first reaction was to look at Mike, who looked just as dumbfounded as I was (I would imagine), and then looked back at Ethan to see if he'd do it again. Sure enough! He pouted his lips together and said "mumumumumumum". I was as ecstatic as if I hit the lotto jackpot, I was literally jumping up and down (partly to gloat that he chose to say a syllable close to "mom" than close to"dad"). Never mind that he doesn't know the true meaning and application of the word "mom" any more than he knows the square root of 893.
So it technically wasn't his first word. Nonetheless, I'm flying on Cloud 9 knowing that my child has just crossed a brilliant developmental advance. It might not mean much to some, but to me, it means he's learning how to talk! It's a step up from the usual "oooooooooooo" and"aaaaaaaaaaa", and it definitely tells me that he's realizing that he has the ability to make other sounds than cooing and grunting. I knowI'm probably prematurely celebrating, but it just sounded so beautiful coming from this little guy that used to live in me, being fed through an umbilical cord.