The house has been ringing lately with NJ's vocalization practice. It's like having Pavarotti wandering around the house intoning "me me me me me me," but wearing a pajama onesie with a smear of pureed carrot on the leg instead of a tuxedo. (Maybe he wore pajama onesies, but Pavarotti eating carrots? As if!) Two things in particular:
The Baby Shriek is used to express delight at, for example, the jumperoo contraption that still enthralls the kid on an almost daily basis. Once NJ's sitting in the thing and has made it around the control panel once, she'll let out a shriek to emphasize her joy at having completed the circle, then another to warn us that she's going around again. NJ also deploys the Baby Shriek when she's having fun with me or The Wife and wants us to keep it up. Yes, the shriek says, continue to tickle my belly and simultaneously make fart noises, Dad Solo. I heartily approve of these actions and would like to continue participating in this brand of merriment. Thirdly, the Baby Shriek serves as an all-purpose exclamation for a seven-month-old who has not yet learned to say "Wow" or "Whew" or "Oy vey."
The most common sound around the abode these days, though, is The Lamb. NJ enjoys going on a nice, long run of "ba ba ba ba ba ba ba" every now and again. After the first "ba" or two, she'll change the inflection of, or raise or lower, her voice. She sometimes ends up flapping her gums rhythmically by the end, as though she's making fun of herself. I've managed to engage her in a few "ba" conversations, and when she realizes we're ba-ing at each other it makes her smile. The Lamb isn't the first sound she's become intrigued by in her Quest for Speech -- she also had "ma" and "pa" phases. But "ba" has staying power, apparently. Maybe one day soon she'll string the three together in the appropriate order so The Wife and I can declare that her first word and book a trip to Venice to celebrate.