My little Sweetie said it, keeps saying it, stretches her arms and yells it, smiling.
She said it first yesterday when I came in to the room where I left her napping. The cynic in me said it was a meaningless babble at 7 months. The mama in me high-5ed herself. I played it off casually to the Hubs when he came in, but I knew it was the genuine article.
All parents anxiously await and savor that first moment of recognition. That first moment where the little monster says, "Hey, you there, with the stroller. You belong to me. And I have a name for you."
For me, there was an added element. Just as I was hung up wondering what she'd look like during her nine months of comfortable obscurity inside me, I've been waiting the last seven wondering what she'd sound like.
As a singer and voice teacher, it's been at the forefront of my mind. She sits on my hip listening to me dole out tips for projection or support to my singers, listening to me blast A-flats six inches from her face... At what point would she grasp that she has her own voice? And how will she wield that power?
It was better than I'd hoped for. It had all of her little personality's joy and humor in it. She seemed so proud of herself, babbling it repeatedly, relishing her newfound verbal acrobatics. But calling it straight to me, hoping to be understood, grinning because she knew she nailed it.
In a word, awesome.
And that word has become her new tool today. Peering around friends to find me and label me. Mama. Staring up at me during a diaper change. Mama. Lying down for a nap with me. Mama.
She's sleeping contentedly wrapped around one of my arms as I type this, her happy little voice on standby. But it was indeed the sweetest thing I've ever heard.
Until she says Dada, that is. ;)