At 15.5 months, Bobo’s has a few favourite words –


Told in an excited drawl that suggests that without his daddy in sight, his life bleak

“Ma ma”

Used rarely. Only in times of extreme distress. Such as when Mummy is inside the bathroom and Bobo begins to miss her.

 “thaah tha”

For grand father. Both grand dads get hugely excited when he says it. 

He may  be using it to indicate the IPad too. Since he only sees his thathas and the IPad when we are Skyping. I suspect he thinks the whole package is called ‘tha tha’


Tamil for give. My efforts at a bilingual education may be taking root (I hope). Used liberally for give and take.


Tamil for flower. Unfortunately also English for the big job. I realised while I had been pointing at flowers and teaching Bobo to say 'poo', our helper had been asking Bobo each time she did a stinky diaper change 'Bobo? Did poo poo?'

We have agreed to change the English poo to 'potty' 


Step 1 – toddle over to nearest adult. Step 2 – gesture that you want to be picked up. Step 3 – once safely ensconced, point in direction you want to move towards and say ‘go’

Thank you Bobo for the clear instructions


For ‘star’. Picked up from the book ‘How to catch a Star’. Whose bedtime reading invariably results in Bobo pointing at every star in the book (about twenty) and saying ‘ta’. We thought this was bad till our helper wore a pair of shorts with a motif of row upon row of stars. Bobo excitedly poked her legs and said ‘ta’ for several minutes. She has not worn the shorts since.

“Buh Buh”

To indicate ‘bye bye’ and now extended to any situation from which he is making an exit or would like to make an exit. For instance at  bedtime he gracefully waves like a celebrity and says ‘buh buh’ as he is carried away down the corridor into his bed room. Sometimes he also adds  flying kisses. I think we need to get him dark glasses to complete the celebrity picture.

And his favourite word since he learnt it


Told in a variety of ways to indicate he does not want something. Accompanied by head bobbing and sometimes, copious tears. Also used when he is self policing. Like when he approaches the pedestal fan which he has been strictly forbidden from touching . Bobo will bring a finger to the fan and then withdraw and tell himself ‘no no’ . Apparently his conscience is yet to have silent conversations with him.

Even as I write this post, I can sense that I have left out many other words – ba (ball), ca (cow), ca (car), buba (bubble) and so on. Bobo has been communicating through yells, shrieks and wild gesturing and sometimes he can feel the woeful inadequacy of the adults he is dealing with in comprehending him. So he is delighted with every new word he learns. I am excited too to see him develop. But as always a part of me wants to hold on to the present. 
How can I not when he says ‘toe toe’ instead of ‘auto’.