A Farewell to Tai-Ta

Jeanne McCullough

Anna is 19 months old. I gotta say, even though it is an extremely exhausting age, I do love it. I mean, baby girl runs me ragged! The tantrums, the attitude, the flailing… it's all a bit much.  But she makes up for it. It's all about independence right now. She is just learning new things every single hour of every single day, and it's a very cool time.

She repeats everything. She wants to learn everything.  Right now, she's really into animals, and she calls them by their name or by the sound they make or, in some cases, both. When she says "Tiger," she calls it a "Tai-Ta", and it's the most adorable string of sounds I've ever heard.  She almost says it as a question…

"Tai-Ta?" as she raises her little red eyebrows.  

"Yep!" I say.  "Tiger!  Very good!"

And then she'll say "RAAAAAAWRR!"

Anna and a tai-taThe other week I was telling my girlfriends that when Anna was first born she had this distinct cry — when we were still in the hospital, I could hear the nurse bringing her down the hallway from the nursery to me. I knew her cry from all the other babies. We used to imitate her all the time — and then, I stopped short as I was telling the story because, for the life of me, I cannot remember now what that cry sounded like.  

So, when Anna identifies the Tiger, I'm always tempted to respond with "Yep!  Tai-Ta!"  Meaning, I want to mis-pronounce it…. because I know the day is going to come when Anna will start saying "Tiger" and not "Tai-Ta", and although I'll be very proud of her for learning to say it correctly, my heart will definitely break a little to know that "Tai-Ta" is gone.

Jeanne McCullough is a Montgomery County, PA mom. This post was adopted from her blog Mom Hearts Pinot.

Categories: MomSpeak