We have just got back from our first trip to the UK to see family and friends since our son was born. He is now 16 months old and was already starting to experiment with different sounds before we went on our trip. His first word was ‘ball’ which he came up with when he was about 13 months old. I was half surprised that this was in English, although the English word and the Portuguese word ‘bola’ aren’t a million miles apart.
He was also able to say ‘mamãe’ for ‘mother’ and was using ‘papai’ for ‘daddy’. I wasn’t too impressed with being called papai as I wanted to be a ‘dad’ or ‘daddy’, but I let him say what he wanted. All of the input he had been getting from friends and relatives was papai so I wasn’t surprised. I figured he woud eventually choose which one to use in the future, with a lot of motivation from me for it to be ‘daddy’.
In the three weeks we were in the UK his verbal skills have progressed considerably. He used to babble to himself a bit, but now he is doing it a lot. He will talk to people, even though it is just random sounds coming out of his mouth. He quickly picked up ‘nana’ (my mother doesn’t want to be called ‘granny’) and Noel (my brother’s name). He couldn’t get to grips with granddad at all so he uses ‘gog gog’ as a substitution.
When he first arrived he also said ‘bruu’ or ‘brum’ for car. This quckly changed to ‘abu’ and then to ‘abuda’. I have no idea where these last two have come from as they don’t mean anything in either English or Portuguese. As soon as the family realised what ‘abuda’ meant, though, we repeated it back to him so he had some positive feedback and kept using it.