Gianna has an amazing vocabulary. There are a plethora of signs that she's mastered. And at fourteen and a half months old - the monkey still isn't saying, "Momma." Apparently it's not uncommon, because during one of my low moments I googled "Fourteen Month old won't say Mommy" and a ton of stuff came up. Ha. Well, not a lot of advice, but at least I knew I was in good company.
I love being a mom. I am with her 24 hours a day. I feed her, change her, teach her, play with her, wake up in the middle of the night with her, taxi her, nurture her (loving it all, I might add) - and when asked. "Gianna, can you say Mommy?" She diverts her eyes and says in the sweetest sing-songy voice, "Da Da." -- making the sign for "daddy" as she says it. I'll quiz her on a ton of words which she'll parrot right back to me -- UNTIL we get to "mommy." The funny thing is, she breaks her gaze every time I ask her to say it. Then she'll say ball or book or baby to try to throw me off track. Turkey. Ahhh......the quest for control sure does start early!
People try to console me all the time, telling me, "Oh, the m's are much harder to say than d's." HA! Baloney. This isn't a matter of ability - it's a blatant refusal. Pure stubbornness.
Well, two days ago I was in the kitchen and she was playing in the living room. I heard her saying, "Dadda, Momma, Dadda, Momma, Dadda, Momma." I could not believe my ears. I grabbed the video camera which was thankfully in my reach - and couldn't wait to get the first beautiful "momma" on tape. Then she heard the beep of the camcorder. I said, "Gianna, I heard you say 'momma'." She looked at me and took off down the hall. Oooooh - I had her number, now.
Desperate times call for desperate measures. Yesterday took matters into my own hands....with the help of little Ebony & Raven, her treasured baby dolls. (And yes, I do realize that both of my child's baby dolls are black. You can CLICK HERE for that little story.)
Lately, she's been very much into "mothering" her dolls. We've been feeding them in the high chair, rocking them, etc. and she's gotten quite a kick out of it. So, I thought I'd take advantage of the pretend-play and get a little manipulative. (No judging.)
I spent about 30 minutes picking up one or the other doll, carrying them with me, rocking them, kissing them saying constantly, "Mommy loves you, baby." and "Baby, can you say mommy?" Then I'd change the sound of my voice answering for the doll, "Momma, Momma, Momma."
It's been her mantra ever since. Her voice is so sweet when she says it. Music to my ears.....and even sweeter that my sneaky little plan worked. She hasn't used "momma" to summon me yet, but I'm thinking that's a good thing right now.
Whew, for a while there I was worried that I was going to have to change my name to Elmo.
I know. Cute, huh?