TRBL’s first word

TRBL worried 4-13

When I read books with Timothy, I ask him to point to things — “Where’s the elephant?” — and sometimes he’ll point to the elephant, and if he doesn’t, I take his hand and place it on the elephant and say ‘there’s the elephant’.  But in the last few weeks, his response has been to just grab my hand and place it on the picture of the animal.  And so I thought nothing of it last night when we were reading and he grabbed my hand, except that he pulled my thumb into his mouth and bit down kinda hard.  I was stunned, and asked that in the future he be sure to eat a good meal before we read together.

photo (22)

After Laura and Timothy and I attended Elisabeth and Catherine’s badminton (yes, badminton) matches on Friday afternoon, we left Harding High School by walking through a school cafeteria that was decorated nicely for a school dance, with colored crepe paper hanging down from every doorway.  Timothy had a big smile as I walked with him through one door.  So I decided that he’d enjoy making one more pass through the decorated doorway.  Big mistake, because T was ready.  Like a Venus fly trap, he immediately pulled down one yellow streamer and had three more pieces in his grasp before I was able to separate him from the party favors and try to return the room to its previously festive state.

photo (21)

Timothy has a complicated relationship with socks.

No sooner do we put his socks on his feet than he rips them off.  Sometimes he stuffs them in his mouth, but usually he just tosses the liberated sock aside, especially if he’s in his car seat.  That’s why, when we cleaned out the car after our 10 day car trip out East, the back seat was a sock graveyard – with so many stray socks looking for their partner or at least a matching pair of pants.

Speaking of socks, Timothy is finding more creative ways for us to be late for church.  Last Sunday, we were on time and were halfway to church when I looked back and noticed that the boy in the car seat had no socks on.  It was winter weather and the lad needed some socks.  We thought he had started the ride with two socks, and commenced a search effort, but only came up with one lonely sock.  So we turned the car around, picked up plenty of socks at home and walked into church 10 minutes late…. again.


You never know what a child’s first spoken word will be – maybe ‘no’, possibly the name of a parent or even one of the state capitals.

Well, this morning, the girls showed us a ‘peek a boo’ game they were playing with Timothy while he was sitting in his crib.  As we stood around his crib, with Timothy now standing and holding onto the railing, Elisabeth asked Timothy if he could say ‘Elisabeth’, ‘Catherine’ and ‘Daddy’, each of which received some type of a grunt or yell.

Then, she asked him, “Timothy, can you say ‘Mama’?”

There was a pause, and then the footy pajama-ed TRBL belted out a very clear ‘Mama’.

I was stunned — though not as stunned as when he bit me.

But it was a ‘wow’ moment.  And I’m glad that all four of us were there to share in it.

Now, Timothy had been making more noises recently, but no clear words, until ‘Mama’.  This boy wisely knew who to give a shout out to for his first word, especially just before Mother’s Day.

So we’re happy that Timothy has spoken, and now he just has to figure out how to get someone to listen to him in this loud household.


The Lees

P.S. The recent Timothy photos on this blog have mostly been the work of Catherine.  She’s done good work and besides, she has the best iPhone in the house for taking pictures.  So thanks, Cat, for the photos.

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4 Responses to TRBL’s first word

  1. elisaloboneese says:

    Jack, As always, another great entry on the blog. I love to read your stories. Cheers to the first word!!! Elisabeth is a great photographer. She captured excellent expressions from Timothy. After Timothy was born, I started paying more attention to stories about children or adults who have Down syndrome. This week I learned about a woman in Brasil who is a first grade instructor. Her story was on a magazine and I found the link to it: can probably translate the text using google translator. I thought it was pretty cool. Another inspiring story is of a couple of actors who have Down syndrome and just released their movie. Maybe you heard about it. It’s called Colegas (Colleagues) and you can find more information through this link: And to end my list of things to share with you and Laura, have you heard of Gigi’s Playhouse? My dentist’s son goes there and Dr. Rzepecki says that he likes it a lot. Might be something interesting for Timothy as well. Well.. enough with my sharing, right? 🙂 Lots of love to you all,Elisa

  2. Diana says:

    Hooray for “Mama”!! That must’ve been such a sweet moment.

  3. Delia Bujold says:

    Loved the pictures and the stories. Have tears thinking about Timothy saying Mama as his
    first word. Way to go TRBL!

  4. Mary Gerry and Tom Lee says:

    Fabulous blog….again!!! And he is a very smart kid to say “Mama” first!
    Wonderful photos, Catherine! We love you all, GG and BaPa

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