If you haven’t seen Andrew for a while or haven’t read my recent post on his birthday cake, you may be forgiven for not knowing about his obsession with rockets, more specifically Thunderbirds rockets. And that’s where we start this week’s wot so funee? post, with two examples of his rocket obsession coming out in speech.
One evening we were sitting down to tea, and it was one of his favourites on the table – swirly pasta shapes and bolognese sauce. As if we needed reminding, Andrew exclaimed: “I do like pasta…” followed immediately by “…and I do like rockets!” Of course you do, but what made you think of rockets when pasta was in front of you?! I guess the connection in his mind was the fact that they are both something that he really does like. This brings me to another interesting observation from his speech right now: to emphasise that he likes something, he often says “I do like”, and this sometimes sounds like “I don’t like” if he says it quickly, which can be very confusing.
One of his birthday presents was a bin lorry toy. He really took to this and has played with it a lot since unwrapping it, especially when we ripped up bits of paper and card to act as his ‘rubbish’ to be collected in the bin, which attaches to the back hatch so you can tip it into the lorry, just like a real life one works. Just after he unwrapped it on the evening of his birthday, it was time for tea, so we said he could take it up to the table as a special treat (toys don’t normally accompany us at the dinner table). When it came to pudding, his Thunderbird 3 rocket cake was of course on offer. When he had a slice on his plate, he started to try and put a piece in the toy bin on the lorry, at which point I said: “That cake’s not rubbish!” His rather witty come back was: “No, it’s a rocket!” Very true! And any excuse to get the word rocket into conversation.
We had lots of fun over his birthday weekend, and with both sets of grandparents in the same house Andrew was in his element entertaining them. The toy cash till and food that you ‘cut’ with a knife (because it’s cleverly held together with velcro) which Grandma and Pop bought him went down very well, and he was keen to get people visiting his shop to purchase extortionately-priced grocery items. On the morning after they left and he realised that there were fewer people to visit his shop, he looked rather forlorn, sighed and said: “I’d like Grandma and Pop to live at Granny and Grandad’s house!” Now that would be a house full for longer than a weekend.
No 3 year old’s birthday is complete without a birthday badge, and he was lucky enough to get one with Thomas the Tank Engine on. But of course these days they don’t have pins like back in the 80s when we were 3 and we seemed to have survived unscathed. Andrew was most concerned that it didn’t look very secure clipped on to his t-shirt with its delicate little plastic clip: “Mummy, my birthday badge might blow off in the sky”. Yes you’re right, whatever happened to a good old fashioned safety pin? Health and safety gone mad.
I think that’s all the birthday-related funees over with, so moving on… Both boys love a good plate of beans on toast for lunch, as do I. But one day this week when I put a plate of it in front of Andrew, he looked disappointed, turned to Joel and ‘whispered’ (i.e. not very quietly): “Look it’s beans on toast Joel, but I asked for beans on beans!” Erm, I don’t think you did actually, but if that’s what you want then it can be easily rectified. I tried to take the toast away but he didn’t like that, so I left it. Joel was most confused as to what was going on!
I’ve written before about the little backseat driver that Andrew can be at times. Recently I’ve been using the sat nav quite a bit because we’re living somewhere that I don’t know too well yet. I’m finding that the backseat driver is also a backseat parrot, who will copy word for word what Mrs Sat Nav says at every turn. Except if she mentions a ‘roundabout’ – then it’s a “round and round about”, just as it has been for quite some time in Andrew’s world.
Another funee that appeared from the back of the car – not mine but Grandad’s car – was one that was passed on to me for writing up. Andrew was travelling with Grandad to go and pick Great Grandma up. He’d been allowed to take Grandad’s Thunderbird 2 toy with him in the back, despite fears that he might drop it. Unfortunately he did let it slip at one point, but before disaster struck, he managed to stop it falling onto the floor under his seat: “I’ve caught it, I’ve caught it!…..I’m very good at caughting!” Linguistically this is very interesting. He’s grasped that ‘caught’ is what you say instead of ‘catched’, which is what we were getting until recently, but then couldn’t quite figure out in that instance that the bit you need to put before ‘-ing’ is actually ‘catch’. It’s all too confusing this English with all its irregularities, I’m amazed that anyone ever figures it out, but I know I must have once upon a time when I can’t remember.
But for all his logical mistakes with irregularities, he’s actually very good at manipulating language how he wants it to be and to what makes sense to him. One phrase that he likes using is “it’s/I’m a bit [adjective]”. Sometimes this is completely normal and adult-like, but other times he comes out with some hilarious made-up ‘adjectives’: “It’s a bit necky”- referring to one of those u-shaped cushions you put round your next for travelling; “I’m a bit finishy” - referring to when he had eaten enough tea and didn’t want to eat up what was left on his plate. He also likes changing sounds in words to make other words, for example “one, two, knuckle my shoe” came out the other day even though he’s been enjoying singing this with “buckle” for a while (mainly because he finds the last line hilarious – nine, ten, a big fat hen!)
To finish this week’s round up of toddlerisms we have a bilingual incident. We were looking through one of his new French for kids books and had got to the page on clothes. We’d been through the list – I’d said each word in French and got him to point to the item in the picture, then he had a go at saying some words that he wanted to. It got interesting when we got to pyjamas: “Shmamas”. I suspect this is because we’d just done ‘chapeau’ (hat) and ‘chemise’ (shirt), both of which start with the sound ‘sh’, so why not start every word on the page with ‘sh’?!