Thursday or Friday morning, Seventy-Six said ‘zoomie’ while holding aloft in his left hand and looking at a wooden cutout of a crocodile – an identification puzzle piece. Also on the floor around him were the puzzle pieces cow, eagle, rhinoceros, lion, as well as four or five others. He pronounced the “z-sound” something like ts,” but when I repeated zoomie back to him, he made eye-contact and gave me his happiest smile by way of saying, “Dad! You understood me!” He’s heard the word frequently – whenever he and the Cautious One play with little cars, she moves them around on the floor saying, “Zoomie, zoomie, zoomie!”
The Urban Dictionary defines Zoomie in ways that don’t apply to the utterances of Seventy-Six. Trying to maintain a lingusitically baby-safe environment, we don’t say “fart” in our house, we say, “toot.” Who’d’ve thought?
An update here on some of the things Seventy-Six has been saying:
- Neng-Neng – syllables discerned during fussing seem to refer to dissatisfaction about not getting fed quickly enough, or sense of outrage that the bottle is empty or the meal is finished
- Ang – I’m really hungry now, I’m not kidding
- Unh-Uh – used sometimes, maybe by accident, while fussing when voice-tone and body language likewise to mean, “No”
- MuhMuhMuh – Mommy?
- DehDehDeh – Daddy?
- Bwah – Bottle?
- Eeeachhh – Sheesh?
- Buh-Bah – heard while trying to teach 76 to wave, maybe “Bye-Bye” or “Baby”
Some of his body language is more expressive than the things he says:
- Leaning toward either of the parental units with arms extended means “Hug” or “Pick me up” – frequently both
- While playing blocks or cars, leaning into and turning toward Daddy means “Time to roughhouse – tickle, wrestle, silly sounds
- Staring at something and making short vowel sounds means “Gimme that” or “Take me to that”
- Grabbing a burp cloth or blanket and pulling it over his face means “I need to sleep now”