Certain phonemes are scary


If you have nothing to talk about but the baby, may as well talk about the baby.

A couple nights ago he cried, which is nothing new, except that for the first time he was obviously doing it on purpose instead of as an instinctive response to hunger or whatever. Using the sound of his own crying as a word, in an extremely low-vocabulary language. It didn’t sound much like real crying because he’d do it, then stop and look intently at us to see if it was getting any reaction, then do it again, then stop and study us again.

That didn’t last long; the very next day he discovered phonemes. Can’t pronounce most of them yet, but you can see him thinking hard beforehand, and testing out different mouth shapes to see what different noises they make.

Which naturally leads to his parents encouragingly trying to help him along by saying things to him like GOOOAAAAOOAAEEEEAAAEEE! EEE! Which might not be all that helpful in the long run.

Last night we were having exactly that conversation, and after a while I started making other noises just to demonstrate that he could try something other than a long vowel every once in a while. Which had him rapt with attention. Whistling: wow. Popping my lips: woooow. Every new noise I made was more fascinating than the last. Until I made one final noise (a sort of donald duck quacking sound) that is apparently, if you’re eight weeks old, the most terrifying sound any living creature could possibly make. Either that or it was just one sound too many, as in “I’m never going to learn how to make all those noises! Never never never!” ::pounds face on piano::

There was much wailing and tears, and that was the end of elocution lessons for the night.