I remember reading somewhere that the earliest words learned are the ones toddlers take the longest to get right. For example, wa-wa in place of water. He’s been able to say many other words but he still uses wa-wa for water. The very first word he ever said was “ah dah.” For weeks we had no idea what it meant. He seemed to say it every time he dropped something off his high chair or whenever something just fell to the ground. We thought it meant “something fell” or “I dropped something.” But then he began using it as an affirmation. “Do you want to go to the pool?” “Ah Dah!” And he said it with such wonderful emphasis. It became so expressive. “Ah DAAAAHHH!” when he really wanted to do something or “ah dah” in a small sad voice when he was confirming that he did, indeed, have a boo-boo.
He’s been picking up new words in huge quantities lately. Some days he picks up as many as ten words. His vocabulary is growing in leaps and bounds. And yet, through it all, he still said “ah dah” for yes and we felt like we still held on to his earlier days.
Today’s new words were “Toby” (for the train in the ‘Thomas’ series), “Coming!” for when someone rings the doorbell and you shout that you are on your way), “care,” “ring,” and “Yeah.”
Today he started saying “Yeah” and “Yah” to questions. When we said “ah dah?” to him he replied “Yeah.” He finally learned the correct word for yes and we’re so sad now.
At least he still likes “wa-wa,” but “ah dah” was the first thing he communicated verbally and it’s gone now. He may be only 2 and not-quite-a-half, but in my mind I just dropped him off at college and returned home to a much more empty house.