March 7, 2016

Practically Synonyms

When I awoke this morning I checked the baby monitor to find Alexis standing in her crib. She often awakes around six and waits thirty minutes or so for us to go fetch her before becoming inpatient. When I entered her room she extended her arms to be picked up and called out “Owie!” Odd, I thought. She wasn’t hurt. She hadn’t been crying, or even calling out before I went into her room. She was just standing in her crib, waiting. She probably said “Mommy” and I just misheard.

We were in a bit of a rush this morning. Well, every morning lately seems a bit rushed these days. Domingo was downstairs with the girls getting their shoes on while I was upstairs gathering more spare clothes for the girls’ cubbies at schools. When I came down stairs she saw me and again called out with her arms extended, “Owie! Owie!” This time Domingo noticed it too, and could attest both to the spoken word and the lack of injury.

Actually, we’re pretty sure this isn’t the first time she called me owie now that we think about, but with “owie” being phonetically close to “mommy” we kept doubting ourselves. As always with kids and first words there’s a lot of guessing what was actually said. It takes a few iterations before words become clear.

When you think about it “owie” is a pretty good substitute word for “mommy.” It’s nearly guaranteed to get Mommy’s attention, more so than “mommy” ironically, since it indicates a level of distress. We think she picked it up from Nicole. Three year olds are pretty excellent at detecting owies as well as inventing them. She probably noticed Nicole using it to get attention and is mimicking her favorite big sister.

So now we’re up to “ball”, “here”, “more”, “bucket”, “shoe”, “daddy”, “mommy”, “hi”, “bye” & “owie” in total words, with “mommy”, “daddy” and “owie” all being used to referencing me. (In her mind “daddy” seems to mean “Generic Parent” as she uses it to refer to both Domingo and I. No Idea where it came from.)

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