The lion guinea pig – wot so funee?

I know there was a series of wot so funee? posts that I wrote a while back which were always mentioning Thunderbirds. Well Andrew is still very into Thunderbirds and playing with his Tracey Island and Thunderbird toy rockets etc., but he’s expanded his repertoire to other Gerry Anderson puppet series. His favourite one to talk about at the moment is Joe 90, which I don’t think so many people have heard of. That is my impression at least when Andrew starts jabbering on to random strangers (admittedly other parents at groups and activities that we do) about his knowledge of Joe 90. They usually smile and nod and say the usual ‘oh right, that’s good’ kind of phrases that we parents do when we can’t understand another child. I think his speech itself is clear, but they don’t always understand who Joe 90 is or why Andrew is talking to them out of the blue about him. It’s quite hilarious seeing him do this to unsuspecting people who don’t know how to react. He’ll talk to anyone and everyone, no hesitation.

It’s not just strangers who get bombarded with an earful of jabbering from our little chatterbox. Grandad took him in the car on Sunday, just the 2 of them, to pick up Great Grandma. He didn’t stop chattering the whole time in the car apparently, and of course insisted that they listened to Joe 90 on the CD player, on repeat, several times! Still, I can’t feel too sorry for Grandad – it’s his fault that Andrew is obsessed with Gerry Anderson puppetry.

Now that Andrew himself is well and truly toilet trained in the daytime, he finds it funny when Joel has a dirty nappy. He’s particularly vocal about describing the mess when he sees it. I’m usually too busy trying to pin Joel down to clear him up before he runs off and gets it everywhere to really take much notice of how Andrew is reacting, but I managed to note down a classic that came out when Daddy was around too: “It’s a disgusting spready weddy poo!” A toddler technical term there. I also liked how he described one of Joel’s nappies as a “displosion” the other day. It was certainly an epic explosion, so maybe a “displosion” is one step up on the scale of explosiveness?!

Moving on from poo (you know you’re a parent of young kids when you can write so glibly about poo), Andrew is still keen to make up his own verbs from nouns that he knows. He’s been doing this for quite a while now, and at the weekend he was on top form in the garden with various sports. He told Daddy to “just golf it!”, when he was trying to get him to hit the golf ball with the club (all plastic). And recently I’ve heard him talking about “tennis-ing the ball” – i.e. hitting a ball with a bat.

We know that Andrew is very good at milking sympathy when something is up. But just recently he’s been stepping this up a little too far in my opinion. A few times now he has been loudly in tears for some reason or another, maybe he’d hurt himself slightly or got annoyed about some (seemingly insignificant) occurrence, and then he has rapidly turned off the water works and stated quite openly “I’ve finished now” and got on happily with something else. Leaving me open mouthed at what he’d just done.

And finally for this week, an insight into his imagination as a 3 year old. We have a red cuddly toy in the car at the moment, which Granny kindly gave us from their car one day when the boys weren’t happy about getting in (it was after our recent beach trip and to be fair I’d have rather stayed longer too but we knew we had a long drive home). I think it was supposed to be a dinosaur for Comic Relief, as it roars when you squeeze it. One day this week, Andrew held it up when he was getting into his car seat and declared that “this is like a lion guinea pig!” I can kind of see where he’s coming from, but it did make me laugh out loud. What do you think?

Lion guinea pig


Wot So Funee?

Language rules – wot so funee?

This week has seen an interesting step in Andrew’s language development, at least it is for the linguist within me who is fascinated by seeing this process that I learned about in textbooks being played out in front of my very eyes and ears. I’ve noticed that he’s had some interesting verb formations, which give me insight into the process of how he must be learning English. He’s been doing interesting things with verbs that have two words. For example….

He regularly falls off things in his daring toddler way, and mostly just picks himself back up and carries on regardless. As he picks himself back up again, he’s been saying “Andrew fall off-ed”. In a similar fashion, the light “come on-ed” the other day, and at the weekend he remarked that his ping pong balls “go downs” the chute into the paddling pool. These examples all illustrate nicely that he’s learning patterns and rules rather than just imitating what we say. He’s clearly picked up that the past tense of a word usually has an “-ed” on the end, but he’s treating the two words in the compound verbs as one, so he sticks “-ed” on the end of this one big word. It’s logical really, and it’s so interesting to see this logic in action. The same goes for the “go downs” – he knows that “-s” is generally needed for he/she/it [insert verb] , but he’s just applying it to the compound as a whole.

I’ve also heard him say “goed” instead of went, which is another rule that he’s applying before he learns that there is an exception here. He’s got the hang of rules for making plurals out of single nouns too. For breakfast he usually has “bix” (Weetabix minis), but just recently they have been harder to come by at a reasonable price (apparently due to the poor wheat harvest caused by the bad weather this year – ironic given that I’m sitting here writing in boiling sunshine!). So instead I’ve bought alternatives, one of which was the chocolate flavour standard size Weetabix. When he first had one of these, he quite rightly came out with “Look, it’s one big bick!” all on his own, without me prompting him. In fact I would probably more naturally say “one big bix”, because it’s the brand name [Weeta]bix and “bick” isn’t a word.

Apart from these insights into his logic, we’ve had a few classic lines this week that have made us chuckle. The first that springs to mind was on the way home from Granny and Grandad’s at the weekend. It was (well past his) nap time and he was still buzzing with the excitement of having been playing with them or friends outside in the garden for the entire weekend. So he was chattering away commenting on all the things that were in his mind. At one point I turned around and said “Andrew, darling, it’s time for a nap now OK, please could you go to sleep?”. His reply was: “Andrew already asleep” (cue a not very convincing sleep pretence position!) Probably just showing off that he can now use the word “already” with accurate meaning.

Oh and talking of “probably”, I can’t forget his reply to Granny’s question of what toys he would like to play with after he’d politely requested to play with some toys: “probably Duplo” – another word that he’s got into recently.

The best one has to be the one he came out with last night in the bath. He was already in the bath whilst Daddy was taking Joel’s nappy off right next to the bath before putting him in too. We hadn’t smelled anything before (probably because all we could smell was the cooking dinner which included grilled salmon), but as he opened the nappy Daddy let out a surprised “Oh, Joel, you’ve done a poo!” Andrew then piped up with: “Joel, no, you’re sposed to do poos in the potty!”  Daddy tried to explain that we didn’t expect baby Joel to do them like a big boy in the potty, but it was quite a tricky one to get the message across, and to be fair to Andrew, right from birth he’s always been good at doing poos either on the change mat or on the potty, not in his nappy at least. Joel doesn’t seem to have followed in his brother’s footsteps in this.

Wot So Funee?