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The Impact Of First Words: Mya, Hi, and Uh-Oh…

girls_-_in_leaves_-_by_Lori Submitted by Isaiah Ketterhagen of Kettyville

All three of these things have brought great conversation between Sara and me, the girls and me, and sometimes me and me!  These three words have proven to be Ady and Riley’s favorites among all of the other noises and sounds that come out of them.  Or, maybe the only three words that Sara and I are able to understand.  Either way I look at it, they are amazing, incredible, and cute all at the same time.  When in doubt we hear one of these words being used in many, many different ways.

The girls started using these three, very difficult, words about 4 months ago and they have developed over the past couple of months as ways for them to ask for things, demand things, complain, and express every kind of emotion that they’re feeling at any given time.  With me being a history teacher, I can now appreciate the advancement of communication and language from caveman time.  I am waiting for Ady and Riley to catch up to the times and begin to express themselves with anything other than these three words.  However, I am also very fond of these three words

This morning I found myself smiling in my sleep at 3:48 A.M.  Anyone other than my wife would find that particularly odd and strange, but Sara knows what a complete goofball I am.  I only know the time because at 3:43 A.M., Sara and I leaped out of bed to almost let Lola outside to puke instead of puking on our throw-rug coming in from the patio.  So we cleaned the puke up, let the dogs out just in case so we wouldn’t have to get back up from out of bed when they started to whine, and then went back to bed. I laid there for a minute or so and all of a sudden the monitor started making noise, “Hi”… “Hi”… “Hi”…then some gibberish that I have no clue what it meant and then silence.  So, I’m laying in bed at 3:48 in the morning on a Tuesday smiling because my lovely daughter, Riley is saying the word “Hi” as sweetly and cute as can be.  Oh, and yes I can tell whether it is Ady or Riley talking because they have distinctive cries, noises, and voices, although they say the same things.

Ady’s way of saying “Hi” is way more direct than Riley’s.  Riley says it so cute and sweet that it melts you when she says it.  Ady says it so directly and powerful that it makes you want to say it right back right away.  Both ways are great and all, but each has there own meaning and personality behind it.

Ady’s is a quick “Hi!”  She says it very abrupt and it comes with that, I mean business, tone of voice.  Ady also says it where she lowers her head where her chin goes to her chest and then her eyes look up.  You can really tell she means business.  And if you don’t say “hi” back, she’ll keep on saying it over and over, “Hi!, Hi!, Hi!, Hi!”  She is like a machine gun – a very cute one!

Riley’s is a much higher pitch hi.  Riley has that drawn out “Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii”, in a much higher pitch and she kind of cocks her mouth to one side and then also adds a southern accent feel to it. 

Both are extremely cute because they are my daughters’ first words and because they are said so differently highlighting different aspects of their personalities.

Word numbers two and three, Mya and uh-oh are just as cute.  I have come to realize that these three words make up their entire vocabulary.  Both Ady and Riley can say each of these three words hundreds of different ways to get their point across.  Whether they are mad, sad, happy, grumpy, tired, excited, etc. they can get their point across. 

After much experience with all three words, I have come to know, for the most part, because of how they use it at different times of the day, the different way they say it, what their non-verbals are that go along with it, and am beginning to realize why women get so frustrated with men when they don’t communicate as effectively as they could!

Mya, as you know is our very loveable, dopey, goofy, dog who gets her name yelled more than called.  She manages to get herself in every kind of trouble that you can think of and that has definitely played a huge role in one of the girls’ first words because of how often they hear it.  Mya can be said in more ways than I ever thought imagined, but Ady and Riley have managed to think and use every single one!  Here are just two examples – one from each extreme:

M-eye-yuh – This is said very softly and sweetly and usually is said in a high tone by one of the girls.  If it were written out, it would be followed by a question mark because of the accent put on the end as well.  Ady and Riley are simple asking Sara or I a question – always relating to where Mya is, even though she may be right in front of them giving them kisses – very wet, slobbery ones!

M-EYE-YUH – This is said very sternly and businesslike.  This followed by a bunch of exclamation points because they are repeating exactly what Sara and/or I have just said – oops!  There have been plenty of times when the girls also hit Mya after or during they say this.  Talk about teaching our girls bad habits!  This one is definitely my fault as I am usually in charge of disciplining our dogs and more often than not Mya is the one who gets in trouble and there are times that I tap or hit Mya on the nose while saying her name rather sternly (above explanation).  The moral of this one is that – I have to make sure who my audience is before I do anything!

Uh-oh is one of Ady’s and Riley’s top three words as well.  It is used in a variety of ways whether it is followed by something dropped on purpose or accident, Ady or Riley trips or falls, mommy or daddy drops something (we do it only on accident), among many other kinds of situations.  My most favorite use of the word is when Ady or Riley throw, wing, drop, chuck, or fling something on purpose.  Which ever one that they do and with whatever they do it with whether it would be food, a toy, or something else, it is always followed by a smirk or smile and then “Uh-oh”!

I can’t tell you how many times this happens and how many times it makes me laugh when I’m trying to keep a straight face and let them know that it is naughty and that they shouldn’t do it. I will be the first to admit that I am a complete failure when this happens because it is so ridiculously funny and they are so damn cute when they do it.  I mean come on, am I really suppose to keep a straight face, discipline them (because it is usually both because they feed off of each other), and tell them “No!”?  I don’t think so – no way – instead I laugh and then catch my wife glaring at me because I’m not helping at all!

This is just another example why being a father is just so damn hard!



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