Wally Ben has taken to babbling for a few days, then stopping. My favorite are the babbling days.

It all started with him making all matter of noises, and realizing it was pretty fun. He was going on and on…”ah, nah, dah, naaaaaaah, dah.” This followed a 3-4 month vow of silence, so I was afraid to interrupt for fear that he’d stop. But I went ahead and, since his sounds included some “dah”s, I asked him to say, “da da.” And he started whispering, so I leaned in closer. And sure enough, he was sounding out dada, getting the feel for it in his mouth.

It doesn’t count for his first word, though. Not because it was “dada,” but because he still has no idea what it means.

His favorite thing to say is “nine.” It’s like we have a little disagreeing German on our hands. He’ll just repeat, for 5 minutes straight, “nine nine nine nine nine.” The other day I was reading him Goodnight Moon before his nap, and in the middle of the book, he said, “nine nine.” So I’m thinking maybe his “nines” will morph into “night night”?

He only occasionally repeats what we say, even though he’s been babbling about a month now. I think he doesn’t repeat us to be stubborn. Especially because today, I was working on “Mama,” saying over and over, “Wally Ben, say ‘mama’,” to no avail. I few minutes later I put him in his crib for his afternoon nap, left the room, and all I hear on the monitor is, “mama, mama, mama.” And to be fair, still not his first word.

A few days ago, I was driving home from grocery shopping, and Wally Ben was babbling quietly in the back, “nine, nine nine nine.” So I decided to try again, with Wally Ben, say “mama.” To my surprise, I heard, “Mama nine nine nine nine nine.” So I tried again—Wally Ben, say “dada.” And I heard, “dada nine nine nine nine nine.”

I’m pretty sure, though, when the first word actually comes around, it will either be, “Wow,” since he loves when we say that, or “no,” since he hears it so much (he also, unfortunately, seems to love that word—we often get a big smile from the little rascal when we tell him no, followed by a repeat of whatever action led us to say no).

Here’s to hoping for more babbling days!

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