It was last Tuesday evening when the four of us were having dinner that this little scene happened. I wish I’d had my video camera on, but short of having it running all day every day, I’m unlikely to catch the funny things that Andrew comes out with on video.
I’d served up a slow cooked veggie casserole with mashed potato, which Andrew has eaten several times before. But for some reason he wasn’t too keen, I think because he could see courgettes in it, which is unusual because usually he’ll eat pretty much anything. So after having picked at it and eaten about half what was in his bowl, he was refusing to eat the rest….
Mummy: Come on Andrew, eat some more please.
Andrew: No don’t want it!
Daddy: Look Daddy’s eating it. It’s quite nice really.
M: Quite nice? Oh come on Daddy, big it up a bit, big it up!
(D in background desperately trying to dig himself out of that hole!)
A: Come on Daddy, pick it up a bit, pick it up!
D: We’ve got a parrot here haven’t we. An actual live talking parrot.
A: PARROT!! PARROT!! (Both said in Len Goodman style ‘SEVEN’ intonation)
Wot so funee about that? Nothing if you’re a toddler parrot 🙂
Incidentally, I found it interesting that he thought Daddy said ‘pick it up’ instead of ‘big it up’. He’s heard the verb ‘pick it up’ much more often (many times a day!) than ‘big it up’, and the sounds that make up the ‘pick’ and ‘big’ are very similar. The sounds ‘p’ and ‘b’ are both made by closing the lips and releasing them again, but the time it takes for the vowel to start after this closure and release is longer in ‘p’ than ‘b’; if you try saying each of them and put your hand a short distance in front of your mouth, you should feel a puff of air for ‘p’ but not ‘b’ – in techie speak, ‘p’ is aspirated. The same goes for ‘k’ and ‘g’ – they are made by closing the mouth at the back by bringing the back of the tongue up to the soft palate and then releasing it again, but the time it takes for the vowel to start after this closure and release is longer in ‘k’ than ‘g’; if you try it like you did for ‘p’ and ‘b’, you should feel a puff of air for ‘k’ not ‘g’. Though in the context of a following vowel (the ‘i’ of ‘it’), it’s also to do with the fact that the vocal folds keep vibrating during the closure of ‘g’ but they stop for ‘k’ – try this by putting your hand against your throat (on your Adam’s apple or larynx – less prominent in us ladies) and saying ‘pick it’ and ‘big it’ – you should feel a short gap in the vibration for ‘pick it’ and not ‘big it’. So there’s my phonetics lesson for the day!
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