Baby’s First Words

By Paul Tocatlian.

Jenna Tocatlian

“Some memories are realities, and are better than anything that can happen to one again.” Willa Cather

When did your baby’s cooing turn into her first words? Did she say “Mama” or “Papa” much to your delight?

I can’t remember how old Jenna was when she uttered her first words. But I clearly recall the memorable words and where we were at the time of this heart-melting moment.

What decides a baby’s first words? They most certainly vary by country. They’re probably infused with context. Regardless, they’re a timeless memory that cannot be forgotten. The reason these words thrill us as parents is that they are our first glimpse of what is going on in that little think tank and reveal something of who they are.

Here is a list of the 15 most common first words, according to 11,000 moms surveyed on Circle of Moms:

  1. Dad (or Dada, Daddy, Papa, etc.)
  2. Mom (or Mama, Mommy, Mum, etc.)
  3. Hi (or Hiya, Hey, Heya, Hello)
  4. Buba (or Bub or Baba)
  5. Dog (or Doggy, Puppy)
  6. Ball
  7. No
  8. Cat (or Kitty)
  9. Nana
  10. Bye
  11. Duck
  12. Ta (or Tata)
  13. Baby
  14. Uh oh
  15. Car

Are Jenna’s first words on this list? Of course not! In honor of her 16th birthday – today -, I’d like to share with you her first words:

We were driving northbound on highway 85 in San Jose, California, around noon time. All of a sudden the little munchkin in the back seat utters the words “hot dog!” We were delighted and puzzled at the same time. Why “hot dog”? Why then and there? Was she hungry? It was lunchtime after all and she had relished the taste of a good hot dog on seldom occasions – no pun intended. Then it dawned on us. We had just driven past Costco and she must have seen the store signage as we zipped by!

As Jenna celebrates her 16th birthday, let us remember all of the precious moments that paved her journey to this day. We are so blessed and thankful. Let us also be thankful that Costco hasn’t raised the price of the “hot dog and soda” combo in fifteen years. It’s still a buck fifty!

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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One comment

  1. karentokatyan · · Reply

    According to my Mother, mine was “orange juice” so I can relate to “hot dog” 🙂

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