Yesterday, in the morning, my wife and I were playing with the baby on our bed. This is the standard morning ritual - she finishes her morning ablutions while I play with the baby, then she feeds him, we play with him, and she leaves for work. Anyway, while we were playing, The Boy turned, looked at me, and said, "Dada." Just for emphasis, he did it again about five minutes later, several more times during the morning, and a few more times last night and this morning.
I'm not entirely sure if that's a "Dada" where he recognizes that I'm a person named "Daddy." I think that "Dada" is a sound that he hears relatively frequently - as a person with an awareness of infant development, I understand the importance of speaking in the third person. "Daddy is going to do this, Daddy will help David get dressed," etc., etc. Perhaps he understands; I know that I like to think that he's learning that I'm a guy named "Dada."
I know a lot of parents that can't wait for their kids to walk, talk, etc; I know that I'm not in a rush. I think that the baby's babbling is immensely cute. I do NOT believe that talking baby talk at the baby is harmful or that it somehow hinders development; I do believe in echoing back what he says back to him. That occasionally means a loud syllable repeated back to him. That's okay.
It's still a little weird that I'm someone's father.