Let me preface this with a few facts:
1. Six months ago, Mac's first word was "Dada."
2. At seven months, he was saying "Dada" discriminately, using it to indicate Bradley.
3. In the last six months, Mac has expanded his father-related vocabulary to include Dad, Daddy, Dada and Da. It's all daddy all the time around here.
4. In his six months of talking, Mac has never spoken my name. Nor made the "ma" sound for milk, Mac, monkey, anything. That would be too close to "Mama" for his liking.
5. Every so often, we try to see if we can get a "ma" sound out of Mac. We say, "Can you say Mama?" Mac says, "Dada!" Then he laughs. True story.
Late last week Mac was his normal, force-to-be-reckoned-with self. He's a bundle of smiles every morning, and nothing makes him smile more broadly than getting his sweet baby hands on something he shouldn't have. After I hid the remotes and moved the DVD player cord out of his (insanely long, Go Go Gadget Arms-style) reach, he was quiet for a full moment. I peeked over to see him sitting on the floor, beaming at my cell phone, squealing and pressing buttons randomly.
Millie Moo book (he's not fooled), hide the phone and move right along.
Not sixty seconds later my cell phone rang. It was the fire department, checking to see if we had an emergency. Mac had somehow unlocked my phone, put it in emergency mode (what is this??), dialed 0, squealed and hung up. As is their policy, the first responding department returned our call to ensure that no one needed help.
Talk about embarrassment - I nearly died. I couldn't find a record of the call in my phone (emergency mode, maybe?) but knew he hadn't dialed 911. I didn't hear a thing and was six feet away the whole 10 seconds he had it. I must have apologized to the fire department half a dozen times in our brief conversation. My child had all but sent a bat signal for the cops! Surely DSS couldn't be far behind?
When I hung up, I gave Mac my serious mom face and said, "McNeal Smith, I cannot believe what you just did!" He looked up, all blue eyes and chubby cheeks, and said as clear as day, "Mama!"
Mama. He saved that magic sound as his "get out of jail free" card. Who knows how long he's been practicing in his crib just waiting for the right moment to bust out that heart-melting word.
I don't know if he's sly or sweet or a combination of the two, but I can tell you he chose just the right moment to say my name.
If only he'd keep saying it... I wonder if he's waiting for another mishap? Mac's lucky he's so cute!
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