The Sounds of Infancy

My daughter noisily entered the world last fallDaughter 1.  From day one, she made herself known vocally.  The sounds of A’s first few days and weeks were distinctly different from the sounds her brother made when he was young. She used a high-pitched scream to alert us of any frustrations.  Her cry when tired or when waking every two hours for a nighttime feeding shifted between the call of a bleating goat and the mew of a kitten.  Hearing her cry, we would quickly pick her up.  “It’s alright, baby.  You’re okay.  Mommy and Daddy love you.”

Over time, A has grown and so have her sounds.  Oh, I cannot describe the joys of hearing her happy “ma ma mas” and “da da das,” even if she doesn’t mean “Mommy” and “Daddy” yet.  “Yes, Ma Ma, that’s ME!” I affirm.  She also has developed a concentrated, throaty sound that friends have helped identify as similar to the hum of a locust.  She uses that sound when sitting around and studying things, much like a singer might unknowingly hum a melody under her breath.

Now in her tenth month, A is “talking” all the time–happy squeals, repeated vocalizations, the ups and downs of mimicked speech.  She has a lot to say!  Indulging in new tastes and flavors every day, she lets out a delighted “nam nam nam” while chewing.  Of course, nothing can match those belly giggles she’ll produce when watching her silly big brother or getting tickles from Daddy.

A still wakes up in the middle of the night several times a week with a cry that melts this mommy’s heart.  I go to her crib and gently pick her up. “It’s alright, baby.  You’re okay. Mommy and Daddy love you.”  As she sighs a contented reply into my shoulder, I realize there are too many of these sounds that I want to hold forever in my ears.