For the past few weeks, I've seen it coming. Mia's been babbling more than ever, the sounds she's producing coming ever closer to resembling recognizable words. Most telling has been the mimicry, which started in earnest about a week ago. Countless times, I could have sworn that she attempted to repeat me when I said certain words to her, like "bottle." Now, I'm quite sure that's what she was doing.
However, you're never really ready for that first time, that first occasion when a word spills out that's not Mama or Dada, a word that's used in context and directed at something.
For Mia, that word was "bye-bye," and she blurted it out tonight, complete with a cutesy wave of her hand. When it happened, Tom and I exchanged astonished looks, but we both assumed it was a fluke, or perhaps another bit of possible mimicry.
However, we asked her to do it again, and again. And she did. And she did.
It's a thing, now. A thing that I am quite sure she learned from her older brother, which is perhaps the most amazing thing of all.