The First Word tends to be defined as the first word that more than one person clearly hears and agrees upon. Unless overridden by pissed-off parents who exercise the right to refuse the claim from other people.
It is not commonly known or thought of, but a good number of new parents are probably too delirious and distracted to have taken note of or agree too The First Word when it was actually first uttered.
Think about it. The “real” First must be missed from time to time. But it’s sort of like the “If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, did it make a sound?” philosophical question. Yes, we all know that the answer is yes. Except in the case of The First Word, the answer is NO. It doesn’t matter if the baby was spouting Shakespeare when no one was listening, if no one was there to witness it or the baby monitor was off, The First Word has not come into being.
Deciding on what was said or even that anything was said is an important part of The First Word. Dad says, “Did he just say mamma!?! Ah. Just a throat bubble,” or mom says, “No, it was ‘dog’ not ‘Dad’.” It can be tricky for new dads and moms. Potato. Potatoh. Whatever. It’s all part of the process.
With the pressure some parents feel from family, friends and parental community in general, it’s highly likely that a fair amount of parents take it upon themselves to either embroider the truth or simply scrap it and re-sew it completely.
Some people are just not gonna own up to that at the first PTA meeting. “No no no! He said ‘duck,’ sweetie pie! Not … anything else that sounds like duck. It’s his rubber ducky we have in the closet for him! He must have known about it! See!?! The kid’s smart AND psychic! Not a dirty sailor at all! Please stop crying…”
Parent’s can get caught up in the pride of their child. And telling the people close to them that his/her First Word was “knob” or “rag” can take a lot of the wind out of a parent’s puffed-out chest.
Revealing or Misleading Words
I’m going to make a bet. You tell me if it should be a large one or a small one. I’m going to wager that most intelligent parents are not going to share around The First Words like: “wrong,” “cry,” “stupid,” “stoppit,” or “cops.”
When it does finally come, you won’t be able to get enough of it. Bottle? “Baba baba baba baba baba!” Priceless. Normally people get really annoyed when words are repeated over and over, or when you say a word and someone repeats it back to you. Well, once is okay. Twice, “Heh! Easy there buddy.” Three times, “Please, God, grant me the strength to release his wind pipe before he dies.” But when you’ve got a little lad or lass, the joy is inexhaustible. But when it’s your kid… Priceless.