Car is car. Dad is car. Light is car. Vacuum is car.

My son is basically Brick Tamland. He loves lamp, and everything is lamp.


He points to an object he likes, says “caaaa,” and then smiles.

I walk into the room? “Caaaa.”
The dog wags his tail? “Caaaa.”
I open the refrigerator door. “Caaaa.”

Mama, it seems, is not car. She is the letter M repeated whilst moving the back of one hand over–and then away from– an open mouth. The desire for milk, not surprisingly, is expressed with the same sound. So mom=milk? Unassailable logic. Dad=car? Questionable.

We’ve been trying to teach Declan sign language to help him communicate key ideas to us. Milk. Eat. Finished. More. He’s gotten really good at making the sign for milk. So good, in fact, he makes that sign now whenever he wants anything.

Food? Open and close fist.
Light switch? Open and close fist.
Microwave? Open and close fist whilst repeating M sound. Yeaaaah. I forgot to mention that Mama and microwave are also somewhat interchangeable.

Today a light bulb went off and Declan added two new words to the mix. Sort of.

Banana sounds like “nah-nah“…which sounds awfully similar to mama. Dog sounds like “dah“…which is just one letter away from “caaaa” and one extra syllable away from “dada.” And yes, THAT occasionally pops out of his mouth, too.

So, to recap:
Car is car, except when it’s not.
Dog might be dog, or Dad, or car.
Mama is probably milk but could be microwave or banana.

This is considered progress.