It has been so, so long since we had a toddler learning to talk in this house. About 12 years, actually. I tend to forget things after a decade has passed, and my advancing age and the daily work load just doesn't help at all with memory either. I forget things that, at the time, seem like THE WORST THING EVER. Like how Micah used to put his thumb in his mouth and drone around it. (I remember that, actually, but at one point I had forgotten about it.) My word, how annoying we thought that was. And it was, too. But he eventually stopped, and now he invented new ways to be loud and annoying.
But there was something that every kid did that I had completely forgotten about until recently. The phase that every parent dreads. The "mama!" stage. On one hand, I'm so thrilled that Micah can even say "ma!" It's been such a long road for the boy to get his words out. (Speech is hard for him. He takes the lazy/easy way out. One syllable will suffice.)
Even with his 11 year struggle to talk, the "mama!" phase isn't endearing, however. The first dozen times I hear it in a day I kind of rejoice that he's talking. And calling me "ma" is really fun, because he called me "mop" at the beginning of the school year. His brain doesn't process words like ours does, hence the speech impediment. He's making great strides, and for that I'm ridiculously proud. It's just the next hundred dozen times in a day that I hear the "ma!" that I get kind of huffy.
Really, why do kids need to say your name before talking to you? Is it a developmental thing, to learn to just talk without addressing you first? Are they trying to get our attention because they're aware that they're annoying little chatterboxes and we tune them out a whole lot of the time? (Don't sit there and pretend you've never done that. We're all human here.) Is it just sheer excitement at life? Because sometimes if I'm super excited about something I'll say someone's name before talking to them. ("Sam, guess what?!") Who knows.
So we're in that phase now, and I try to model patience, but all I can think of is that every stage of Micah's development has lasted soooooo much longer than it should because Downs is like that. Are we talking a few months of this? A few years? Or will he just decide that saying that extra word is far too much work and ditch this phase sooner than later? In the meantime, I'll be over here quietly contemplating changing my name to something else. Maybe "dad." Because Micah can say that now, too. Poor dad was "nad" for quite a while.
Although I will never, ever get tired of hearing him say, "Ma! Wook!" because hearing him say that is absolutely the cutest thing ever.