First Words

My ten-month-old daughter’s first word is “cracker”; she likes to eat various sorts of biscuits, cookies, crackers, teething biscuits, etc., and this is her term for all of them. Sometimes she speaks the word, as if asking for a cracker. But she always repeats the word a number of times, whenever we give her one. What’s striking is the happiness with which she repeats the word; her pleasure at being able to say “cracker,” her delight at having expressed a meaning, far exceeds the pleasure she gets from eating the cracker itself. A pretty good exemplification, I think, of what it means to be human.