Sometimes, The Wheel is on Fire

Sometimes, The Wheel is on Fire

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Will the Real Dada Please Stand Up?

For the past couple months, I've been telling people my son has mastered three words/phrases: "mama," "dada," and "uh oh". Only recently did I learn that when he says "dada" he's not referring to me.

I'll pause a moment and let you ponder the repercussions of that statement.

And then I'll ruin it by saying you're not pondering what I'm pondering.

Unless you were thinking his "dada" is a book.

That's right. A book. You see, when The Professor was born, we signed up to get a book each month from a Jewish organization called The PJ Library, because I thought my son should know more about our heritage than I do hey, free books!

The one we received before Passover this year was Dayenu, basically an illustrated (and Anglicized) version of the traditional Passover song of the same name. Of course, being such a devout Jew, I didn't remember hearing of it before. My mom, however, sang it to him when she babysat. And my son loooves music, so Denise and I learned the tune (via the Tube of You) and followed suit.

So, how does this book supplant me as "dada"? You might have already figured it out, but just in case, here's the chorus, which is repeated eight times throughout the book:
Da-dayenu,
Da-dayenu,
Da-dayenu,
Dayenu, dayenu!
It quickly became one of his favorites (only equaled by pop-up books), and was often the first one he pulled out of his box o' books to hand to us.

Yet I was slow (and/or willfully deluding myself); I didn't catch on for a while. Two weeks ago is when it clicked for me. I now realize when he's crawling toward me in the living room, smiling, reaching out to me and saying "dada," he's not calling for me.

He's calling for me... to sing.1


1 In a related story, The Professor also started saying "nana" this past week. He's not looking for his grandmother, though. He's looking for his grandmother to bring him a delicious yellow fruit.

12 comments:

  1. Ah, playing second fiddle to a good Jewish book can't be all bad, right? At least your not being mistaken for a yellow fruit...which makes me laugh just saying it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If it were a good Jewish book, sure. But this one's just okay. Perhaps I can regain my title if I pull out my fiddle (not a euphemism).

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  2. Replies
    1. Yep, he does have that going for him. That's why I'm more amused than upset.

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  3. In an (extremely) tangential experience, when my good buddy Monty was young, he couldn't pronounce Joe. Me and some friends role played with his parents, and I was always the first to arrive. So whenever he heard a car door slam outside, he'd run to the door, point, and cheer, "Jew! Jew!" That still warms my heart. (Enough that I forgive him for the time he karate chopped me in the face when I was baby sitting him and we were watching Samurai Jack.)

    (Also, when he was older and came to visit us out here, he pronounced it New Hamster.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, so I know a Jew in New Hamster. Wait till I tell the missus!

      And just be glad your karate chop experience happened before Tangled came out. Otherwise, it might have a been a frying pan instead.

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  4. Well, at least it's you he wants reading the book, right?

    ReplyDelete
  5. Gosh Nate--that's some pretty heavy competition! So, what does he actually call YOU?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't believe he has a name for me yet. And really, why should he deign to call me anything at all? Once you get too chummy with your slave labor, they can try to take advantage of your friendship.

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    ReplyDelete
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      Delete