Every parent waits to hear their child's first word. Like a first meal of solids or first steps, it is a milestone, but the first word is more than that: it a parent's first good opportunity to claim favorite parent status.* Will the first word be mama? Will he say papa? Will he show preference for the family pet, or a weird uncle?
Jack has begun to move from vowel sounds like "oooo" and "aaaa" to consonants like "mmmm." We hear lots of "mmmm" in our house, clearly unrelated to my cooking, so I thought that "mama" was a shoe-in for Jack's first word. All he would have to do is open up his little mouth after an "mmmm" and he'd have some semblance of "mmmmaaaaa." No problem, right?
How cute, Jack has a favorite letter. I'm really partial to R, but M is okay too.
And then yesterday, he did it. He worked on "EMMM" for quite awhile until it evolved into his first word. It was my birthday, so how fitting would it have been for him to finally say Mama? What a beautiful present!
But not our Jack. He decides to go for the surprise, the curveball, the unexpected.
Emma. He said Emma.
Over and over again. Emma, Emma, Emma.
Who the hell is Emma? I know one thing - Emma sure isn't mama.
My theory is that Emma is his imaginary girlfriend. My husband thinks that Emma is his imaginary wet nurse.
Well, Emma. You won the coveted prize. You are Jack's first word. You had better hope we don't meet in a dark alley, Ms. Emma, whoever you are.
*I realize that favoritism isn't really a factor at all. But who among parents hasn't joked about being the "favorite" because baby chose to enunciate dada before mama?