Despite refusing to buy into the whole developmental milestone mania/ paranoia that inevitably besets parents, I wondered if I should be anxious about Benji not saying “mamma/dadda” yet as all wisdom said he should be by 15 months. So, to the amusement of my helper who accompanied me to his doctor’s appointment (for a vaccination not just to ask about this), I asked the doctor. And he said not to worry as boys generally start late and Benji was saying some words.

Ok, so his first word was – “this”. He would – and still does – point imperiously at something and say “this” and we would give it to him, or so he expected.

His second word was… not Mamma or Dadda… but Car. How much more Boy can anyone get? Ok so he does spend a fair amount of time at the window looking down at cars and generally seems to have a mania for them and stuff with wheels in general but still. Anyway is a word is a word and we should have been glad expect that then he just started saying “Car” randomly so one wondered if it could be considered a legitimate word. As my sister’s pediatrician told her: “If it’s not repeated, it doesn’t count.”

So just when I’m telling the doc that he says “Car” to prove that he’s not, after all, speech delayed, and the doc was saying how Car is a more complex sound, Benji points to something totally random on his desk and goes “Car!”. Embarrassing.

Anyway, since then he has graduated to saying Car for just vehicles, including trucks, buses etc., though it remains his enthu word of choice and he will sometimes just randomly say Car for the sheer joy of it.  Word number four was “Ba”… to convey Bus. And then “cock” for clock.

And finally – I assume after much coaching but still – Dada. Traitorous, traitorous child. After the yuck of pregnancy, the horror of childbirth, the fatigue of those early days, you choose Dada first.

All I can say is Bah.