‘Counting’ – wot so funee?

Most of my wot so funee? posts so far have been about Andrew’s toddlerisms. But Joel has just started to produce some hilarious funees in his speech. He doesn’t say a lot, but what he does say is great! Recently he’s become very keen to ‘count’ before doing something – for example the ‘1-2-3-wheeeee’ game that we play when two adults are each holding one of his hands and on the count of 3 we pick him up and swing him to ‘wheeeee’. The thing is, he doesn’t actually say ‘1 2 3’, but rather something more like ‘wee-baa-wee-baa-wheeeeeeeee!!’ but you can tell that it’s his way of counting by the intonation and that he does it and then stops it before doing some action. I managed to capture it today when he was throwing some balls in the garden – counting before he let go of each ball. Plus some tennis balls into the pot fun following the counting….

 

 

Wot So Funee?

Biting the hand that feeds you – wot so funee?

So far my wot so funee? posts have mainly featured Andrew, eldest brother of two. This week, a particular interaction between him and younger brother Joel made me laugh out loud, even though Andrew didn’t find it particularly funny. Like a nice and kind big brother, Andrew offered Joel a mini cheddar biscuit from his packet. That was cute. Then things got cuter when he even offered to put it into Joel’s mouth for him. However, the cuteness faded when Joel took a chunk out of not only the biscuit, but also Andrew’s finger! Talk about biting the hand that feeds you! Andrew looked at me, lip wobbling and said: “Joel bit me!” Luckily he didn’t actually cry, so it can’t have been that bad. But it was just the face that said it all – why?? If you stick your fingers in a 16 month old’s mouth, you won’t come out unscathed!

Moving on to a different kind of food – one you don’t have to bite: ice cream. We had this as a yummy treat for pudding the other day, and when asked which flavour he’d like out of vanilla or ginger (it was fancy stuff!), his reply was: “I’d like miller”. Once again Andrew demonstrating perfectly a phenomenon common to English-learning kids: picking up the stressed syllable (and the one after it) but not the preceding unstressed syllable – so he heard ‘nilla > miller.

Apart from ice cream, Andrew loves bananas. A taste he shares with Daddy but not me. He was eating one the other day, and Grandad thought he would be funny and call Andrew a monkey, joking at the fact that he was eating a banana. But this didn’t go down too well… “I’m not a monkey [sad face]….I’m a rocket!” See, it always has to come back to rockets. And there was us all thinking he was a boy.

I’m sure Andrew isn’t the only 3 year old who is easily pleased. There are several things in life that make him happy, and none of them or very expensive or complicated. For example, the other day when we were driving along, he randomly came out with: “Windy things make me happy!” After a little more probing, it turns out he was talking about windmills, probably the kind that we had on our balcony in bright colours. No idea where that came from!

Another thing that makes him happy is playing for endless hours in the garden – or the “ball garden” as he calls it (Granny and Grandad’s garden where we are currently living). One afternoon we were playing out there, and Andrew was waving a plastic golf club in the air. To try and encourage him to bring it down to a height that didn’t risk a disaster involving the club whacking Joel in the face, I took it off him and started to use it like a hockey stick to move a small ball along the grass…

Me: “Come on, let’s play hockey Andrew!”

Andrew: “No Mummy, don’t be silly, that’s not cocky, it’s golf!”

And to end on a similar note to where I began this post, we have another cute exchange between the brothers, overheard on the monitor one morning. Since the mornings have got lighter, we have reinstalled our lighting system – a cheaper version of a Gro-clock type thing, made from an ordinary lamp and a timer switch. When it’s off, it’s time to sleep, and when it comes on (at 7am), he is allowed to get up and go into Granny and Grandad’s room. But the thing is, there’s one rule for him, and one rule for little brother, who hasn’t understood the idea of the magic light and crescendos once he’s woken up until I go in and fish him out of their room. At about 6.30am I heard this: “No Joel, the light hasn’t come on yet, it’s not time to get up, we must sleep!” Nice try Andrew, I wish it was that easy to reason with your little brother.

Wot So Funee?

My favourite – wot so funee?

To think that Andrew was only saying a few single words when Joel was born 10.5 months ago, it’s hard to believe just how much he rabbits on these days! He’s picked up that we’ve been giving Joel lots of praise for his developmental milestones like crawling, cruising and standing unaided. On a few occasions now, just after I’ve said something like “Wow, Joel, look at your standing, that’s very good standing… Daddy, look at Joel’s standing, it’s good isn’t it?”, Andrew will come out with “Look at my standing, it’s good isn’t it?”, while standing up straight in a rather theatrical fashion. Yes Andrew, your standing should be good, you’ve done it for 2 years! Of course we give him praise too for the milestones he’s reaching, like all the wees and poos he’s doing in the potty, and when he reads all the letters of the alphabet in books or on signs. But I guess he must feel like he’s missing out when we praise Joel for his.

Standing
Standing up with ‘help’ from big brother!

An interesting thing that I’ve noticed Andrew doing recently with his speech is saying a whole sentence using just one vowel sound – for example, “this car is red” comes out something like “this kir is rid”. I think this comes from a song we have on a compilation CD of German kids songs, which starts off with a verse sung normally with all the correct vowel sounds, and repeats the same verse of words several times but with just one vowel in all the words, each repetition with a different vowel. Andrew thinks this is hilarious, and I think it’s good for making him more phonologically aware – how words are made up of different sounds. Not only is he now aware of and understanding how vowels and consonants fit together in words, but he’s manipulating them himself. I don’t know of any kids songs in English that do this, but Andrew is applying what he’s heard in German to his own English. One particularly funny incidence of this was when he was going through various vowels when saying “apple pie” – “oo” became “oople poo“!

Last week I talked about how he’s now often stating the obvious. This week we had another classic example of this… He hadn’t quite got to the potty in time when we was engrossed in some other activity, so some of the wee went over the floor (no big deal, I LOVE our laminate floor!) When he had finished and got up from the potty, putting his foot in the puddle, he wrinkled his nose up and said rather disgustedly “oooh, it’s a bit wet!” Well yes Andrew, that would be your wee on the floor.

Generally he’s always been a very good eater, and we’ve not had much fussing – he eats a wide variety of foods, including some more unusual flavours that some adults don’t eat, such as olives and relatively hot curry. But recently he’s started to show a little more fussiness, though I’m sure in the grand range of toddler fussiness it’s nothing. One day I’d cooked a lentil and veggie stew in the slow cooker. Andrew looked less than impressed when I dished it up, and picked about not really eating it. Then he exclaimed “I don’t like this brown stuff”. So I replied, “Andrew, you haven’t even tried it. It’s like beans, come on, try a bit at least”. So reluctantly he tried one spoonful. His response after he’d swallowed: “Mmmm, yummy, my favourite!” How can you go from utter disgust to admitting it’s your favourite in less than a minute?! Toddlers can it seems.

And a quick funee to finish on… the boys’ Godfather’s son is called Ezra, or to Andrew this week, “Zebra” 🙂

Wot So Funee?

Rock a bye penguin – wot so funee?

Living with a toddler is like having our very own comedy show every day. The stuff he comes out with makes me laugh more than your average stand up comedian.

This week we start with a fruity mix up. When we were shopping for various items in the supermarket, we stopped in front of the squash because we needed to buy some. Andrew caught sight of the lemon squash, and asked if we could get the “white squash”. So I said “that’s lemon squash” and asked him if he was sure, and he was, even though he’s not had it before, and in it went to the basket. Later that day, Andrew asked me for a drink, so I asked him what he’d like to drink, to which his reply was “melon”. Slightly confused, I said that we didn’t have a melon in the fridge at the moment, but what would he like to drink. Back came an insistent “MELON”. So then I did the pointing game, and asked him to point to what he wanted. The penny dropped as he pointed at the LEMON squash! Melon, lemon – pretty similar really!

We’ve also had a couple of stating the obvious incidents which were worth a giggle. One evening he was insistent that he would like “ghetti” (spag-) for tea, and as the veg we had in the fridge seemed to suggest a pasta dish, I honoured his wish and cooked some spaghetti. When it was dished up in front of him, he looked at it with a pondering face and came out with: “it’s a bit long!” Erm, yes, that’s what spaghetti is Andrew! Another day we were putting his socks on before we went out; he lifted them up, looked at them, and said “they’re a bit socky!” Well yes, they’re socks, so I guess that does make them ‘socky’.

Now for a spot of singing. One evening, Tom was bathing the boys as usual and I was doing the washing up and clearing up the kitchen. Tom got Joel out first and was drying him and putting on his nappy on the change mat, when he became aware that Andrew was playing with a toy penguin and boat whilst singing. The tune was definitely ‘Rock a bye baby’, and the words started like this:

“Rock a bye penguin, in the boat,

When the water blows, the penguin will rock”

Tom says the next two lines were basically the same as the original rhyme, sung in Andrew pronunciation. He thought it was rather sweet, so called me in, but by the time I got there, the penguin lullaby was over and Andrew went all shy with an audience.

Apart from Andrew’s own cute and quirky speech, we’ve found ourselves saying some unusual and hilarious things to him – the kind of phrases that could only be said by a parent of a toddler. As Andrew was on his way to the bath one evening, he picked up a pair of bunny ears that were on the floor and put them on. Tom told him to take them off for the bath, because they’d only get wet and soggy. So Andrew picked up a toy tiara that was also on the floor (he has no aversion to wearing things that society would say are for girls only) and put it on. Again, Tom told him that it was no good for the bath, and found himself coming out with this: “Andrew, come on, no accessories are to be worn in the bath!” I couldn’t stop laughing at hearing that come out of his mouth 🙂

Potty training has gone well recently (we’ve been doing it in some shape or form for over a year, so it’s about time), and it’s finally clicked that he needs to do wees on the potty or toilet all the time, not just when he’s undistracted by something else. Just before dinner one day, he clearly knew that he needed to head to the potty, so he did, and just about made it before the flow started. The trouble was, it wasn’t quite pointing down well enough and it started to spray outwards, which he found funny. Unfortunately Joel wasn’t far away, and of course came nearer to explore the commotion, so Andrew decided it would be hilarious to keep the spray going rather than push it in (which he knows how to do because he does it most of the time) and shower Joel with wee. Nice! When Tom saw this and realised what was happening, he called across: “Andrew, you mustn’t wee on other people!” Now that’s something I never thought I’d hear my husband say! Cue a quick dunk in the bath for Joel before dinner that day.

Wot So Funee?

Who’s afraid of the ice cream van? – wot so funee?

As sickness took over my life at the weekend (the boys all seem to have escaped it so far…), I’m a bit behind with this week’s funee round-up. But Andrew was on top form, making me laugh with his cute-isms when I really wasn’t feeling like laughing otherwise 🙂

If you’ve been reading these posts for a while, you’ll probably remember Andrew’s encounter with a fire alarm at the local Children’s Centre. Ever since that day he has become a toddler on a mission to spot every fire alarm in the whole world! He regularly points them out to me in places that I would never have noticed them. Just recently he has spotted a few “black fire alarms” – these aren’t the usual colour, which is of course red. He’s seen these on the bus, and also on a building just by the bus stop that we wait at if we get the bus home from town – this building is the magistrate’s court. I’ve had to break it to him that this black variety are in fact not fire alarms – they are CCTV cameras instead! I’m not sure he really understands that concept, but I think he’s just about understood that they are video cameras. If anyone does have the pleasure of watching them, they’ll have plenty of footage of Andrew pointing at them and rabbiting on.

On Saturday morning, Daddy explained to Andrew that he was going to take both boys out to ‘Daddy and me club’ at a local church, which they haven’t been to for a while for various reasons. This club is a brilliant Dad and toddler group that runs on the first Saturday of every month, and is a great way for the three of them to spend time together and give me some time on my own at home. Andrew took in this information about where they were going, and then later, when they were about to leave and I asked him where they were going, he said “golf club…. might be Granny and Grandad there!” I giggled and told him that he was right about the word ‘club’, but this wasn’t the same kind of club as the golf ones. You see he’s come across golf clubs in Granny and Grandad’s garden (hence their mention in his reply above) more frequently than he’s come across other kinds of club so far. Grandad has even sawn down an old club of Uncle Matt’s to just Andrew’s height, so he’s had lots of fun hitting balls in random directions with it!

Before he goes to bed, Andrew has a little routine: bath > potty and Thomas story > tidy up toys > mummy milk > teeth brushing > Bible story in bed > bedtime book in bed. That might seem like a lot of stories, but he loves books, and each one doesn’t take that long in itself. The ‘bedtime book’ is a small board book with a touchy feely bit on each page, and it goes through various things associated with going to bed (pyjamas, teddy, teddy, cot etc.) Andrew has heard it so many times that he now ‘reads’ it himself, turning each page and saying the words perfectly as he does, all by himself. However, the other day, disaster struck and the paper on the front board cover, which has been loose since we got it secondhand, ripped off as it was picked up the wrong way. Andrew’s response was: “Oh no, the skin’s all ripped off!” I love the fact that his mind is very logical and made the link between his skin or fruit skin and the book’s ‘skin’ – they are similar after all!

One morning Andrew and I had been talking a bit of French (well I was doing most of the talking and he was answering my questions in English in his usual fashion). He then went over to Daddy with a basket of blocks, which he’d been pretending were fruits, and asked him: “Do you want an orange, Daddy?” Nothing unusual about that you might think… but he said “orange” the French way! (It’s a bit hard to convey that funee in text, it’s much better spoken out loud, the spelling is the same in both languages!) Daddy, whose French isn’t up to much, said ‘thank you’.

And finally, one evening Joel was getting tired and hungry for dinner, which he showed in a very vocal way by whinging and then crying if I dared to move out of his sight to start cooking. At one point, just as the sound effects took on a new crescendo, an ice cream van came up the road, of course playing its loud Greensleeves tune. Andrew turned to Joel and said, rather loudly in his face (which was necessary to be heard): “Don’t worry Joel, it’s just an ice cream van, just an ice cream van!” Now that’s called being a good big brother, reassuring his little bro that these ice cream vans that plague the area really are harmless!

Wot So Funee?

Sandwiches – wot so funee?

It’s been a busy week, and the notes app on my phone seems to have fewer funees that normal, probably because I haven’t had as much chance to note them down. The ones I did note are good though, at least I think they are…

Andrew’s favourite food for lunch is a ‘cheese sandwich’, by which he actually means any filling in the sandwich and a piece of cheese on the side – don’t ask, it’s just historic accident I think. One day this week there was only enough bread in the bread bin for him and Joel for lunch, so I defrosted a wholemeal bagel from the freezer for myself. Of course Andrew caught wind of this and asked for a ‘circle cheese sandwich’ for him too! I had to laugh, it did look very like his only round, and with a request like that, how could I refuse?

He usually has peanut butter on his bread, and as he used to pull sandwiches apart and eat the filling separately from the bread, I gave up giving him closed sandwiches a while ago, instead I always give him an open sandwich. But one day this week he decided that he wanted ‘nother sandwich on top, Mummy, mother sandwich on top’ – from context I gathered that he meant he wanted another slice of bread to make a closed sandwich. Who knew that so much fun could be had from a toddler’s concept of the popular bready lunchtime snack?

At the weekend we drove to Milton Keynes to meet the boys’ cousin and her parents at South Willen Lake (it’s a great place for a day out, I’d recommend it). On the way we drove past some fields that had a flock of crows landing on the wheat/corn (I’m no farmer). I remarked that there couldn’t be a scarecrow in the fields if all those crows felt able to land there. A little voice piped up from the back seat: ‘square crows, where square crows?’ I had visions of quadrant black birds at that moment! I went on to explain that I said scarecrow, like the one in the song: ‘I’m a dingle dangle scarecrow…’

We have a Playmobil (actually I think it’s a Playmobil lookalike) Noah’s Ark toy – a big boat with two each of about five different animals, plus Noah and his wife. Andrew was holding Noah in the garden the other day, I think he’d snuck out on Joel somehow, and then Andrew picked him up when he was inevitably dropped. I commented something along the lines of ‘oh Noah’s with us in the garden I see’, to which Andrew replied: ‘That’s not Noah, it’s a girl!’ After a little more probing as to why he thought it was a girl, it was clearly the long hair that did it. Funny though that he doesn’t think Uncle Pete is a girl.

Wot So Funee?

Look Mummy, I made a number 2! – wot so funee?

Where did that last week go?! I’m totally out of sync with days; we had a short week last week and this week, as we got back from holiday mid-week and then the bank holiday this week. So I’m writing this round-up of the week’s toddler-isms quickly on Tuesday morning.

Andrew is very keen to point out these days that he is a ‘big boy’, in contrast to Joel who is a baby or little boy. When we arrived at one of our local Children’s Centres on Friday morning for a group, he wanted to make this matter clear too: ‘We’re at the Children’s Centre, also the Big Boys’ centre’

As I type the two ‘the’s there, that reminds me that he’s doing an interesting thing when he says this word now. As you’ve probably realised from your own speech, there are two ways of pronouncing ‘the’ in running speech – one with a kind of ‘uh’ vowel, which almost blends into other words and you hardly hear it, and one that sounds like the old-fashioned word ‘thee’. He hasn’t been using the word ‘the’ much until recently, which is normal for language acquisition, those small words tend to come after they start saying the nouns that they go with. Now he is using it, he mostly uses the ‘thee’ pronunciation, which sounds really weird to me, because it makes the ‘the’s stand out much more than in my speech where there seems to be a more even mix of both pronunciations. I presume he has heard this from us, as this pronunciation is more prominent than the ‘uh’ one, and he has stuck to one for now; I’m sure the other will come in time, it’s just very interesting linguistically at the moment.

Another interesting thing that we’ve noticed recently is his use of ‘yesterday’ to mean any day or time in the past, and ‘tomorrow’ to mean any day or time in the future. This is generally understandable, though can cause some confusion if I’m not quite on the ball.

I haven’t written much about our adventures in languages other than English recently, because what he comes out with himself is mostly English. When asked questions in French or German, he clearly understands (most of the time) because he replies in English with a correct or plausible answer. He does randomly start counting in French or German at times, and he sings along to the CDs we have in these languages. I doubt he has a clue what he’s singing about half the time, just like many old English nursery rhymes make no sense to a toddler! But one thing that I know he knows is ‘häschen hüpf’ (‘hop little rabbit’) which he likes to say when he jumps. It was funny when he randomly asked me ‘was ist das?’ the other day though, rather than his usual ‘wassat?’ – his most favourite question in the whole world at the moment.

We had a comedy moment at dinner time one day this week….

  • Andrew: jabbering on in ‘googoo gaga’ language, trying to imitate Joel’s babbling
  • Me (quietly to myself, not expecting him to hear): what are you on?!
  • Andrew: erm, a seat!
  • Daddy: haha, that’s brilliant Andrew! Turns to me… See, it shows he understanded
  • Me: haha, now you’ve forgotten how to speak English!

And finally, I can’t forget Andrew’s first ‘written’ funee (which is where the ‘wot so funee’ linky started)….

‘Look Mummy, I made a number 2!’ (Of course I’m biased, but I think this use of some garden gravel is brilliant for a 2.5 year old!)

Number 2

Wot So Funee?

Camels in Devon fields – wot so funee?

Things have been quiet on the blog for over a week because we’ve been away on a lovely family holiday. As much as I love blogging, I enjoy a rest from all the fun (and not so fun) things I do at home and it gives me time to reflect and think rather than write all the time. In the blogging silence, however, there has been no shortage of sounds coming from the mouths of babes, and in particular from Andrew in his toddler speech heyday.

One thing that I’ve noticed him pick up is “I said…” in the context of giving an order or, more specifically, repeating an order. This came out quite a lot on the way down to Devon. Whenever I took one of my hands off the steering wheel, for example to change gear, he noticed and ordered: “No Mummy, hold on to there, I said hold on to there!” (by ‘there’ he meant the steering wheel). At one point he even insisted that I put my hands higher up the wheel; he presumably couldn’t see them from his angle. It’s lovely that he’s so concerned for road safety, but it’s also highly annoying when I’d like to change the position of my hands on the wheel after they’ve been stuck driving in a straight line on the motorway for the past half an hour! Incidentally, he also tells me to “hold on to there” when I’m pushing his buggy with one hand instead of two, and continues reminding me until I keep two hands on the handle bar.

Another little stock phrase that he’s been slipping in is “if I like to”. He’ll usually tag it onto a request that he’s putting in to do something, for example “I can play with toys, if I like to”, which I would translate as “please can I play with some toys?” Other cases this week have included food requests, such as having a cake “if I like to”.

A couple of questions that he’s very keen on asking at the moment are “Where going to?” (translated as “where are we going?”) and “Where’s [insert noun] gone?” He started these a while before holiday, but they came out in force over the week, as he was interested to know our plans for the morning and afternoon each day and was concerned that he didn’t miss out on a thing. On the way home from an exciting adventure one day he chirped: “where’s my house gone?” We weren’t sure if he really meant our house back in Cambridge or Grandma and Pop’s house where we were staying for the holiday. So we explained that we would be going back to their house again now, and then back to ours another day. I’m not sure if he got it, but it didn’t seem to bother him again.

Andrew has been doing fairly well at potty training, but we decided that a week away with extra pairs of hands to do other stuff for us would be a great opportunity to give him full attention and crack it. And it did go very well I have to say. One morning he had done something in his potty and got up from it to tell us. Tom and I were sitting in the room at the time, and Grandma came in the front door just at that moment – she’d been out shopping. To greet her, Andrew came out with a very proud: “Andrew done poo in potty, it came out of my bottom and went doink!” What delightful news to be greeted with on your return from the shops! Looking back I don’t think I ever blogged the other classic potty quote from a while back, so I’ll throw it in here as the topic has come up: “Look Daddy, it’s like a sausage!”, as Andrew proudly showed off his potty offering to Tom one morning.

Moving on…. Andrew has had a good dose of nature this past week as we’ve spent a lot of time outdoors. (I have A LOT of material to blog about for the Country Kids linky over the next month or so.)  On our second trip to the beach, he spotted something in the sand that he’d heard about on our first trip to the beach: “Look, there’s a shelf!” No, nothing from B&Q had washed up on the beach, it was just a shell. I can see how easy it is to confuse the two words though, because the ‘f’ sound of shelf isn’t very prominent at the end of a word, and he’s probably heard us say shelf more often than shell.

Alpaca

On the way back from that beach, when Andrew was supposed to be dropping off for a nap but was slightly hyper rather than sleepy, he suddenly exclaimed: “Look, I can see camels over there!” To which we replied something along the lines of “really?!” Then I realised that he was pointing to the field of sheep in front of us, so I said something like “they’re sheep Andrew”. But he was insistent that they were camels. At first I thought he was going slightly loopy, but thinking about it later I realised where the confusion may have arisen. When we visited Coombe Mill earlier in the week, we saw some alpacas which had been shawn fairly recently, so their fluffiness looked similar to how Andrew has seen sheep who’ve recently been shawn, and of douse an alpaca also looks like a camel. I think that was his logic at least!

Finally, there came a classic line when we arrived back at Granny and Grandad’s house (our handy stop over place) on our way back from Devon. On the morning that we’d left for holiday, Andrew had been watching one of Grandad’s favourite DVDs – Thunderbirds. A week later, when we were back there and suggested that he could watch a DVD whilst I cut his hair, he asked if he could watch the same DVD of puppeteering excellence: “Wonderbirds!” Not a bad name for it I reckon – I do wonder if Andrew and his generation will wonder what on Earth it is!

Wot So Funee?

When in Germany, speak German – wot so funee?

As a birthday present for me, my parents organised and paid for the four of us and them to go away for a long weekend this week. The destination was the village where a good friend of mine lives in Germany. We have known each other since we were paired up for the exchange that was organised by our schools when we were just 14 years old (doing the maths, that means I’ve now just about known her for longer in my life than I didn’t know her!) We got on very well during our first visits to each other’s homes through the school trips, and then we kept in touch and stayed with each other on various occasions and our families have too. My family and I went to her wedding and vice versa, and this was the first time that our kids met each other.

This was also the first time that my boys went on a plane. Of course Andrew was very excited, and absolutely loved the experience. We thought that he might get a bit frightened when the engines powered up and the plane shook for take off, but he laughed and shouted: “it’s like a rocket!” He’s watched countless rocket launch videos on youtube after Grandad once showed him one! I was sat on the other side of the plane with Joel, who managed to fall asleep feeding during take off on both legs of the journey, but Daddy and Grandad, who had the pleasure of sitting in the vicinity of a very excitable toddler, recounted how he had been during the flight once we’d landed.

As all 6 of us couldn’t easily fit into my friend’s house for staying the night, we stayed over at a local hotel, which was an old castle – Schloss Hotel. It was really interesting seeing the (relatively) modern rooms inside what was a very old building from the outside. When we’d pulled up in the car park and Andrew was standing with me and Joel as the others unloaded the hire car of luggage, he looked up at one of the turrets and said: “it’s like a rocket!” Bit of a rocket theme going on here! He does generally say that a building is like a rocket if it is tall and stretches up into the sky – he says the same thing about the tower on the church we go to for example.

IMG_1917
Schloss Hotel, Friedewald: it’s like a rocket!!

After we’d deposited our bags, done a bit of shopping for essential supplies, and the boys had had a nap, we headed back to my friend’s house to spend the late afternoon and early evening with them. We pulled up on the drive, where we had parked earlier when we’d first arrived before her husband had showed us the way to the hotel. Andrew let out an excited: “Here’s Germany again!” He’d obviously understood that my friend’s house, the central place of our visit, was in fact this place called “Germany” that we’d been talking about all week before we went. We’d been telling him that we were going on a plane, and that we’d travel to a place called Germany. In his mind, it was just the end destination that was Germany, not the whole country. But then why should he have a concept of a “country” yet? He’s not been abroad until now, and even now he’s done it, I’m not sure he understands that we live in one country and we went to another country on holiday.

And I can’t forget the snippets of interesting German-English interaction that involved Andrew. One funny moment occurred when we were at my friend’s parents’ house and her sisters and their children came for Kaffee and Kuchen (German equivalent of afternoon tea) on Saturday. There was a big table for the adults and a small kiddy-sized picnic table where Andrew and another little boy and girl were. Andrew had recently had a drink in a Very Hungry Caterpillar beaker, and was enthusiastically explaining this fact to the other two children. After a minute or so of rabbiting on to them, the little boy looked up to the table of adults and said “was sagt er?” (“what’s he saying?”) as if Andrew was from another planet or something, which we all found hilarious! It was interesting though, that despite the fact that they were both speaking different languages to each other, it didn’t matter – the universal language of play meant they all had fun chasing each other around the garden and getting wet with the various water games on offer.

Although Andrew understands a fair amount of German when I ask him questions, inevitably he can be quite shy in speaking it when we ask him to in front of others. But by the end of the weekend he was impressing everyone with his counting to ten in German, sometimes on demand and sometimes whenever he happened to randomly think about it! He also got the hang of “Danke” (“thank you”) – when he said it to the lovely lady in charge of breakfast at the hotel, she thought it was the cutest thing ever 🙂 Charmer!

Wot So Funee?

Are we nearly there yet? – wot so funee?

This week there has been no shortage of funees, toddlerisms in their finest regalia! A bit of a mixed bag of contexts, so I’ll go through them one by one without any particular links…

First up was a moment of confusion when we were out shopping for Andrew’s new red shoes (the fact that they are red has no significance to the funee but Andrew was insistent that we buy red ones and still goes on about it, maybe because they are the same colour as fire alarms?!) We were walking through the shopping centre, heading to Clarks, when suddenly he started shouting “calculator”.  He got louder and more insistent that I look at the calculator over there. I was trying desperately to spot anything that could remotely look like a calculator – maybe a phone or picture of a tech device that could be mistaken for a calculator by a toddler. Suddenly the penny dropped: “Ah, yes Andrew, it’s an escalator!”

Then there was the day when we walked down our road as usual and the house at the end was at last starting to be done up after being for sale empty and then sold for ages. There are builders working on it and they had demolished the garage attached to the house. When Andrew saw this his response was: “Oh no, house broken. What gunna do?” I tried to explain that they meant to do that, and that they are probably going to build an extension (I didn’t use that word) on the side of it as they do it up. He didn’t look too impressed and was still concerned for the house.

In the fruit and veg box this week we got some red currants. Both boys love these and have scoffed their way through the punnet in no time. One evening I remarked that they were great for Joel to practise his pincer movement as he sat there having a good go at picking them up individually in his finger and thumb, before deciding that grabbing a fistful was more productive. A few minutes later Andrew piped up with: “Joel doing pizza movement” 🙂

On a few occasions now, he’s given an interesting response when I give him 2 options – “do you want to do/have this or not?” For example, he’d asked to have an apricot the other day when he could see that Joel was eating one. I know that he doesn’t really like them, but I cut him one off the stone anyway, knowing that Joel or I would happily eat it. As I guessed, he refused to eat it and after a bit of playing with it I asked him “Look Andrew, do you want to eat this or not? His response: “Or not!” He’s said the same when asked if he wants to go on the potty “or not”. I don’t think he’s got the concept of ‘or’ yet!

And finally, a little video to share. One of Andrew’s favourite games is to play ‘driving’ in the car when we’ve been playing outside for a while in the afternoon. So he usually has his helmet on still after riding around on his bike. On this particular occasion, once he’d finished sitting in the driver’s seat, he jumped over onto the back seat where Joel’s car seat goes when it’s in the car, and started to play with the talking Donkey (from Shrek) toy. This fluffy thing shouts, “Shrek, are we nearly there yet?”, like Donkey does in Shrek 1, when you squeeze his tummy. Andrew loves playing with this, but for the first time the other day he decided to copy it. You can hear for yourself what it came out like…… (I think it must be the accent that makes him copy it like that!)

 

Wot So Funee?