My Baby’s Favorite Word


The door opens and before her daddy and big sister walk in, Lola utters the word “hi.” It’s a big one, coming deep from her belly. Much different than the soft hi she used to whisper many weeks ago. Her hellos are now laced with confidence and sprinkled with excitement.

“Hi. Hi. Hiiiii.”

Oftentimes they (the hellos) continue until she’s got their full attention.

Later the phone rings. “It’s Nana!” I excitedly say.

“Hi. Hi. Hiiiii.”

My mother’s voice turns into that sing-song voice we tend to use with our little ones. Lola’s face turns to mine as she smiles. She looks at the phone and continues to interject hellos throughout the phone call.


While Lola’s vocabulary is growing it seems hi is her favorite word, even more than — “more,” a word she learned in conjunction with the baby sign. It’s the first word she said clearly. Not questionable like some of the other ones. Sure, she says “mama” and “dada,” and as much as I glowed upon declaring that she said mama, deep down inside I was aware that this was her babbling.

I know the time will come when Lola’s vocabulary explodes. In the meantime, I hang on to every word, for with each one I get a glimpse into the days that lie ahead. For now her babbles are sprinkled hand gestures and words like “more” and “daddy” and “hey” and my favorite “hiiii.”

“Hi” is my favorite because her hellos tell me that not only does she see us but she’s happy to see us. They are always coupled with big grins and rooted in a confidence not present in hellos past.

Perhaps, it’s a testament to the fact that she is coming into her own. Whispers have been replaced by excitement encompassed in the form of two letters and a wave of the hand. Simple joys to her, profound to her mama.

Sometimes it feels like she’s not only saying hi to those around her but to the new older version of herself. A baby saying hello to toddlerhood, possibly encouraging her mother to do the same.

“Hi. Hi. Hiiiii.”

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