Thursday, June 7, 2012

Say What?!

I love her, but "hippo" comes first. And no, that is not
my term of endearment for mommy! She assures
me that would be just cause for punishment.
Despise not humble beginnings. Even if that means your first repeated word is "hippo."

So yes, that was the word that I repeated for mommy and abba whilst pointing to a decal of the large animal during a diaper changing. I knew something exciting happened due to the sudden stop in action followed by a flurry of clapping and positive reinforcement.

My parents weren't expecting that I'd aim for the stars and pronounce two syllables along preceded by the h sound for my first English word. Thus the shock. But to ensure that it wasn't a fluke, they repeated this little game a dozen times and I dutifully complied repeating hippo repeatedly and wondering what all the excitement was over a 6,000-pound mammal.

It isn't my first word per se. I have a cadre of words in my own language that mommy and abba are finally learning, language for things I need. For example, mam-mam, simply translated is: "FEED ME NOW - I'M STARVING! And it better be something I like!" And then there is the famous buba, my word for Lucas.

Nevertheless it was fun to see their excitement at my mention of the animal. I know that mommy gets caught up in those nature shows, especially Discovery channel's Frozen Planet special. So perhaps that was the reason for their thrill.

But after the dust settled, mommy set out to look for some deep meaning to my first word. Surely if you refuse to start with mommy or abba, but stake out instead with a random and insignificant word, it must have some hidden meaning. Not content to believe that my first repeated word could be as unrelated to daily life as a hippo can be in a Middle Eastern city, mommy searched the scriptures for hippopotamus in order to add some significance to this randomness. Many people believe that the behemoth mentioned in Job 40 is a hippopotamus!
“Look at Behemoth, which I made along with you and which feeds on grass like an ox. What strength it has in its loins, what power in the muscles of its belly! Its tail sways like a cedar; the sinews of its thighs are close-knit. Its bones are tubes of bronze, its limbs like rods of iron. It ranks first among the works of God, yet its Maker can approach it with his sword. The hills bring it their produce, and all the wild animals play nearby. Under the lotus plants it lies, hidden among the reeds in the marsh. The lotuses conceal it in their shadow; the poplars by the stream surround it. A raging river does not alarm it; it is secure, though the Jordan should surge against its mouth. Can anyone capture it by the eyes, or trap it and pierce its nose?" Job 40:15-24 
Not a bad choice for a first word as you can see here. My first repeated word ranks first among God's works! Perhaps not such a random choice after all.

My next word just might be behemoth. I'll work on that.

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