Day Twenty-Five: And Milo’s first word is… wrong – Monday 27 July 2015

Damn. Due to our enthusiastic, engaged but ultimately flawed parenting techniques it would appear that Milo’s first utterance with meaning, “dadadadada”, is not in fact a reference to me. It means picture frame.

We have a photo wall which Milo passes several times a day when travelling up and down the stairs. Over the last few weeks Kuepps has been diligently pointing at photos of me and saying “dada”, which Milo has just started mimicking. We were excited about this development but over the weekend began to suspect things may not be as they first appeared. To test Milo’s true developmental brilliance we stood on the stairs, Kuepps then pointed at me and said “dada”. Milo paused, grinned, turned around and pointed at a photograph of his grandmother on the wall and said “dada”. Damn.

So it would appear that Milo is 0/1 in his word development; we are not off to a good start. We are now working overtime to develop the word “mama” appropriately. Hopefully that too will not be ascribed to an inanimate object.

It has made me wonder though how easy it would be to bury an obscure word deep within my child’s brain with a completely false meaning, that will likely not be revealed until he is much older, perhaps into High School, and whether friends and family would at that time find my experiment to be amusing, character building or simply a jackass thing to do. Perhaps I could convince Milo an Isosceles Triangle is called a Rhinoceros Triangle, or similar. I’ll give it some thought.

Last night was rather unsettled, punching a bit of a hole in our anti-skinnying theory (but we persist), but today was very pleasant. After a morning nap Milo was in a delightful mood so we loaded up into the Croozer, ensuring that we packed his favourite toy (the white plastic spoon) and a developing new favourite (a wooden peg), and rode a few kilometres to meet a friend who has a very small baby, 8 weeks. This is one of those cafes that is set adjacent a park and lends picnic blankets to its clients; the only food venues that young adults with babies now meet to eat.

The last time we ate here was about 4 months ago and it was very interesting to see how Milo has changed from the completely static boy who lay on his back, contemplating the trees last time, to the marauding, yelping, giggling slippery wild piglet this time. I have decided in public parks such as this I am comfortable with Milo eating anything he can find once, except cigarette butts. And so he did; Milo tried leaves and grass and twigs and a bit of soil and a lot of tuna and broccoli (which I brought) and then inhaled a pouch of pureed food directly from the nozzle, as is his way. Milo was also fascinated by the tiny baby and it is already hard to imagine that he was ever that size, or that placid.

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Spoon and peg (and cracker)

We managed to stretch until just before 1400hrs before departing, knowing the magic of the Croozer when Milo is even vaguely sleepy. We were barely around the corner before he was snoozing peacefully so we covered the 2 or 3 kilometres home and then circled the park a few times, pausing just after 1500hrs as he awoke, still grinning and clutching his spoon.

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Croozin and Snoozin

Upon returning home we had second lunch then really enjoyed sharing some peanut butter toast before whiling away the rest of the afternoon watching a replay of Team Sky cycling arm-in-arm up the Champs-Elysees (what we will do now at 1 in the morning I do not know) and then joining Huck and Suu Kyi in a game of ‘accidentally on purpose’ nudging pegs off the landing and down the stairs.

Kuepps arrived home just before dinner to a very happy, but very clingy boy who bathed and then headed off to bed with minimal fuss.

After my moment of reflection in the baby food aisle at the supermarket on Friday I would also like to recount a second experience over the weekend which stimulated some introspection. On Sunday I drilled some holes around our home for various purposes. I am not a handy dad by any means so this was quite an achievement, akin to Dale “digging a hole” in the classic Australian film “The Castle”. I came upstairs to wallow in self congratulation and drank the last cold beer from the fridge. I enjoyed this beer so went to the cupboard where the extra beers used to be kept. I found no beers. Only surplus Huggies nappies where they once had stood.

  • Hours spent volunteering as life drawing model at local community college – 0
  • Minutes practicing didgeridoo – 7
  • Hours spent sanding outside table in preparation for oiling – 0
  • Laps of the park – 6
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