As you may have noticed, my kids are not big talkers. Isabel very occasionally does a dead-on imitation. Once, in the middle of the night, when there were teeth coming in, Isabel was up for an hour, imitating me beautifully. I heard her say "Grandpa" absolutely clearly. In the morning, she said, "aempah", and then never said it again. This is what Isabel's talking has been like--momentarily glorious, usually meaningless, and then never seen again. So Marco and I have been delighted, that something seems to have finally stuck. And it's "uh oh".
It's fun, that glottal stop in the middle. Maybe that's why it stuck. Isabel has always seemed to like the pauses, the intonations, the expressions of speech more than the practical use of it. She puts blocks on top of each other, and "counts" them with "uh"s. You can tell she's counting because of her beautiful rendition of my falling then rising tone that I use when I count. "wuhUHN, tuU, thriI..."(Can you tell I'm too lazy to put in the international phonetic alphabet?). She knows what dogs say and what ducks say, (at least what James thinks they say), but is utterly uninterested in talking about mama, or even papa, unless he makes the mistake of not paying her homage at exactly the right time in the morning. If he is early (that is, before 90 seconds post-waking up), she screams. If he is late, or makes the mistake of passing by to go get his socks, "pahPAE!"
James is beginning to take these outbursts in stride. At first, Isabel's yellings reduced him to a crying heap of jello. Now, he's down to a worried look, and an occasional creeping smile, if the reason for the outburst is particularly outrageous, or better yet, of his own making. ("I wonder what Isabel will do if I put this red fluffy chair on top of her?") Luckily, they are so close in strength and size, that she can't really be preyed upon for long without her own particular siren going off, and James backing up. It's kind of entertaining. James couldn't make that kind of noise if he tried, and it's interesting (in my better moments) to hear that kind of noise coming out of a baby of mine. Though I prefer Isabel toddling across the park repeating, worriedly, "Uh oh. Uh oh. Uh oh," as I pull the stick out of her mouth, and she, being rather delightfully obedient, drops it.