As I said in yesterday’s blog, we’ve just been on holiday for a week to the Lake District. During the week, Andrew came out with a few things that tickled us, or even made me howl with laughter in utter astonishment! So here’s my offering for the wot so funee linky this week….
First up is a type of bird. Now Grandad loves bird watching and is keen to get Andrew involved in his hobby too. Granny and Grandad’s garden is full of bird feeders, bird boxes, other bird paraphernalia that I have no clue about, and even cameras that capture some pretty amazing footage – take a look at Grandad’s website Garden Twitter if you’re interested, there are activities for kids too. Whenever he goes up to their holiday house the Lake District, Grandad always takes some bird feeding equipment with him so he can get some birdlife into the garden up there. This time he had a ‘spot the bird’ book for children, and encouraged Andrew by getting him to stick the stickers provided on the right page when they saw each type of bird. This meant that Andrew learned various bird species names last week, most of which he was pretty good at accurately reproducing, but one was worth a giggle – siskin became kisskin! I’m just imagining these little birds kissing each other now 🙂
It’s not unusual for children acquiring language to do this thing where they repeat a sound in a word, in this case ‘k’, at the start of each syllable. It’s not quite the same thing as ‘reduplication’, which involves whole syllables being repeated, as in ‘ma-ma’ and ‘da-da’ when they first start to say mummy and daddy, and of course in that very early babbling which Joel is just starting to do now (another post coming up on that some time soon).
When we got back to Granny and Grandad’s house in Coventry where we stayed overnight on the way home, Andrew had great fun removing every single price of outdoor game/sport equipment from the little shed that they keep them in. Once he’d been through all the different types of balls, commenting on their size, he came across the weird ones with (plastic) feathers that are used to play badminton with. His curiosity led him to ask Granny what it was, so she replied with ‘shuttlecock’, and his repetition of the word was a hilarious ‘shufflepot’! He then proceeded to pop a tennis ball in the top and walk round saying he had an ice cream (well it did look like a cone with a scoop of ice cream in!)
To be fair, ‘shuttlecock’ is a bit of a mouthful, with all sorts of different sounds made at different places in the mouth, so it wasn’t a bad rendition at all for a 26-month old. He got the outline of the word correct, the right number of syllables, the right stress pattern, the right vowels, it was just the consonants that were a bit mangled. The ‘p’ and ‘t’ of ‘pot’ are the same type of sound as the ‘k’ at the start and end of ‘cock’, as the air coming up from the lungs is momentarily stopped before being released again, they just vary as to where in the mouth the blockage is formed (lips for ‘p’, behind the teeth for ‘t’ and at the back of the mouth for ‘k’).
He’s said this one a few times now, since his birthday, but I still find it funny. When we walked into the pub for lunch one day, there were 2 candles on the table that we sat at. Andrew was very excited by this, and took great pleasure in repeating ‘two fangles’ a few times until I translated for the rest of our family and they replied, ‘ah yes you’re right Andrew, there are two candles’!
Again, this isn’t a bad go at the word – he’s got the outline right, it’s just the consonants at the start of each syllable that need a bit of work, but he’ll get there over time. Notice how he’s using an ”f’ sound in both ‘fangle’ and ‘shufflepot’ instead of a ‘k’ or a ‘t’ sound (these two are quite similar in that they are the same type of sound, as I said above). I’m not sure exactly why he should go for this sound, which is made by air hissing between the bottom lip and top front teeth, but maybe it’s some kind of default for him when he’s finding it hard to get right all the sounds he’s heard.
No mummy, you’ve got it all wrong!
To finish off today’s post, I have to share something that left me in stitches. Unlike all the other things he’s said that have made me laugh, it wasn’t that he said something in a child-like way with dodgy consonants, but rather what he said was perfectly accurate and sounded like he was about 7 years old!! We were driving along with mountains on one side and a lake on the other (as you do in the Lake District!) He was looking out the window, so I commented on the scenery and said something like (I can’t remember exactly) ‘oh look Andrew, there are some trees up there’. His reply, in a very adult-like manner and intonation, was an insistent ‘No Mummy, you’ve got it all wrong!’ I couldn’t quite believe my ears!
He is saying many more sentences now, but this was the most accurate, out of the blue and out of the ordinary that I’ve heard from him. I think he must have picked it up just like that, the whole sentence, from someone, either in person or in a book that was read to him (or possibly on a DVD though we don’t have that many and I’m pretty sure I haven’t heard it on any of them). What I’m trying to learn from this is to watch what I say… you never know when it might get repeated back to me at an inappropriate moment. So far so good on this front, but it’s only a matter of time I’m sure!
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