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This is my home-game entry this week for therealljidol. I am not competing this season but invite you to read and vote for the many excellent entries. This week's topic is "Brouhaha."

Brouhaha is one of those words that must have originated from babies. For months now, my Kung Fu Panda has been trying out sounds. He started with "eh," which was his word for everything. Then, he tried out "G" sounds, combining them with a couple simple vowel sounds to achieve "ah-goo." Yes, babies really do say "ah-goo." Frequently. Like "eh," it was a go-to word that meant just about anything.

Over the last couple of months, KFP has gradually expanded his sounds, experimenting next with "B," "M" and "W" sounds to create a new multipurpose word, "Ah-bu-wuh." I'll never forget the day he was happily babbling "ah-bu-wuh" in his bouncer and then, minutes later, on the changing table, was twisting his body away from me as I fought to put on a new diaper. He grabbed the edge of the changing table and wailed, "ah-bu-wuh"! One word meant not just "I am happy" but also "I am upset."

At the time, I thought that must be how the word "aloha" was invented, one of the true multipurpose words, meaning "hello" and "goodbye." It also, coincidentally, is composed of sounds that a six-month-old can utter. I know this because KFP is expanding his sounds. Lately, I've heard him using "H," "K," and "N" sounds, and this morning, he experimented with "L" sounds.

Like anything else he does, he flounders and experiments before achieving what seems a major breakthrough. We've heard him calling "mama" when he cries now, and he once looked right at his daddy, The Gryphon, and uttered, "Mama!" Well, he was almost right. More interestingly, he once used the sign for "daddy" while looking at The Gryphon, but he has yet to repeat it. (On the advice of several friends, we've been teaching him some useful signs like "eat," "sleep," "more," "milk," "mommy" and "daddy" so that he can communicate more easily before his verbal skills coalesce).

He has begun using "N" sounds in the negative, so that if you are trying to put his winter coat on him and he objects, he'll repeat "nuh, neh, nah" as if to say, "No, no, no!" Just wait until he gets the "oh" sound down. I'm sure we'll be hearing "no" a lot.

The other day, he looked right at our kitty, Luke, who has become his best friend now that our doggie, Una, died more than a month ago. Luke likes to hang around near him and even allows KFP to pet him on occasion. This particular day, KFP looked at Luke and, in a raspy baby voice filled with a blissful air of revelation, he said what sounded like "kitty kitty" without the "T" sounds. We were all surprised, and I believe that Luke was secretly pleased that he might be responsible for KFP's first word.

But I digress. "Brouhaha" is clearly a word invented by babies. Not only does it sound like something a baby would say, but it means something a baby might do. As anyone knows who knows a baby, they love a good brouhaha in the morning. Heck, a brouhaha in the evening, too, if they feel up to it.

Similarly, babies love a little hubbub and almost certainly also invented that word. They are likely responsible, as well, for rat-a-tat-tat and ballyhoo.

It's a little known fact that babies invented the Dada art movement, but everyone knows they are the inspiration for Lady Gaga. Babies long for the day when they will drink cocoa, and if they could, they would order Hohos at Hojo's.

Who's their fave Beatle? Macca, of course. They listen to him while go-go dancing and eating goop.

I could go on, but my budding linguist has now awoken from his nap and is creeping around, uttering "ah-na-mmm!" and "ahhhh-yah!" And so the discovery continues.

Learning to talk is an evolving process.

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( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 21st, 2010 11:20 pm (UTC)
This was so cute and probably true.

My granddaughter and I were giggling today watching the YouTube of that laughing baby. It's been around for years but we crack up EVERY time we watch it!
Dec. 22nd, 2010 12:08 am (UTC)
I keep trying to capture his babbling on video, but it seems every time I point the camera at him, he clams up!
Dec. 22nd, 2010 02:19 am (UTC)
Keep the cameras handy. He'll get used to them and then really put on a show for you. Even if you only get still pictures...save them all! They all love looking at themselves later on.
Dec. 22nd, 2010 02:22 am (UTC)
I take a ton of pictures, and I'm taking video, too. His development is being well documented.
Dec. 22nd, 2010 02:32 am (UTC)
Good Mama!
Dec. 22nd, 2010 12:24 am (UTC)
How long does it usually take for a baby to say their first word?
Dec. 22nd, 2010 06:01 am (UTC)
WebMD says that most babies can say a few simple words by the end of 12 months. They also say that baby babbling in earlier months can be mistaken for speech. All I know is what I hear and experience with him. I might be wrong, but it certainly seems as if he's trying to communicate and is occasionally hitting on sounds that seem to sound like what he is trying to convey.

Edited at 2010-12-22 06:01 am (UTC)
Dec. 22nd, 2010 01:28 pm (UTC)
I would think that you are actually correct. I mean, he has to learn how to speak. Maybe he's trying to imitate you. I suppose that would be the most logical thing to do as a baby. And, just like with everything else in life, you have to practice to be good at it, so I will bet that what you are hearing is him practicing!!!
Dec. 22nd, 2010 02:43 pm (UTC)
Exactly! It's his job right now to learn, and he works hard at it.
Dec. 22nd, 2010 03:47 am (UTC)
KFP is such a love. Hearing stories about him always makes my day. You guys will have to tell him how many people love him all over the place as he grows older.
Dec. 22nd, 2010 05:58 am (UTC)
I definitely will! Hopefully, he'll appreciate that. Of course, he doesn't have much of a choice. I've always written about my family.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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