Or Nghha Nghha

This morning, our baby daughter said “Mama.” Or it might have been “nga nga” or possibly even “ngla ngla.” I can't really say, except that it was definitely some kind of gargly consonant sound followed by a vowel of some kind. So it's just as likely to have been “Mama” as anything else, but it could just as easily have been “braa braa” or maybe “gghhou gghhou.”

What's my point? Wishful thinking, I suppose. She's actually still at the stage of making those musical-sounding cooing noises, which is the stage before meaningless babbling, which is the stage before the first word. So the best-case scenario is that this was an example of a meaningless babble, and that this is the stage we are now moving into.


But she was definitely crying for someone to pick her up when all this happened, and it definitely sound a lot like a plaintive little cry for Mama, so that's what we both wanted to believe it was. “Did you hear that?” my wife said. “It sounded like Mama!”


“Umm, I suppose so,” I said. “Either that or “gghyaa gghyaa.”


“Gghyaa ghyaa? What does that mean?”


“It doesn't mean anything. She's still too young to say anything.”


“Well, I think she said Mama!”


I thought so too, but I knew she probably hadn't, so I didn't want to admit that's what it sounded like. But it really did sound like “Mama.” Or “nghnaw ngnaw.” Or something.