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?

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?

Triathlon result!

Thursday was the big day: Andrew completed his mini toddler triathlon in aid of Sport Relief. I said last week that I would blog about how it went, so here I am!

Boat Collage jpg
I think both boys might have been expecting some boat rowing to feature in the events too 😉

We set off just before 9am to Newbold Comyn Leisure Centre in Leamington for the aquatic bit. After filling in a form to give us permission to take photos, we got changed and Andrew kept his t-shirt on over his costume so we could take some photos with it on the poolside. He was keen to jump i, so while Granny got into position to take some action shots on her camera, the boys and I got into the pool at the ‘beach’ side, and made our way across to the side wall. Andrew swam with his noodle float all the way across to the other side and back again, encouraged by me a few steps ahead of him, holding Joel who was laughing him on too. Despite an almost detour around the island in the pool, he achieved two full widths of the pool, which is about 20m in total. After that we had our usual fun swimming, and Granny joined us in the water so we could each keep an eye on one boy whilst they were swimming and splashing.

Swim Collage jpg

When we’d finished, it was time for a quick refuel and then back home for some rest and lunch. Once we were ready again, we headed out to the Memorial Park in Coventry. Andrew’s task was to ride his bike over there, around the top field in the park, and back home again – approximately 1 mile in total. While we were there, he also completed his run – approximately 500m across the top field. This was the part that he needed the most encouragement for, I think he was getting tired, but I jogged too and cheered him on.

Cycle Collage jpg

He can’t have been that tired though, because he still had an extra reserve of energy for his usual go on the playground too! This brought a welcome opportunity for Joel to burn some more energy too, as he’d been in the sling for the bike riding and running. We stayed at the park until it started to rain and everyone was getting worn out. Andrew completed his cycle home and then enjoyed a special treat snack and drink whilst chilling out on the sofa.

Run Collage jpg

So there we go: one mini triathlon complete, one very tired but happy athlete having spent the day doing what he loves – burning energy in the pool and the park! And that’s what Sport Relief is all about – getting active, having fun, and raising life-changing cash.

If you’ve enjoyed reading about our 3 year old’s sporting challenge, please consider donating whatever you can to Sport Relief via our Just Giving page. To find out how the money will be spent by Comic Relief, have a look here. Thank you!

Also linking this post up, as usual, with the fab #CountryKids linky over at Coombe Mill’s blog.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Toddler Triathlon for Sport Relief

I’ve been hearing all about the charity that is Sport Relief through the adventures of Team Honk on twitter and their blog. Then when Granny came back from Sainsbury’s with a red Sport Relief t-shirt for the boys and their cousin, it gave me an idea for helping to fundraise. On the back of the t-shirt there are three words printed at the top: run, swim, cycle. Aha, I thought, that’s a triathlon, and wouldn’t it be cool if Andrew did a mini triathlon and we got people to sponsor him. He loves all 3 of those activities, and would be more than wiling to spend a day doing them. So here’s the plan…

On Thursday 20th March, we will head to Newbold Comyn Leisure Centre in Leamington for the aquatic bit and then come back to the Memorial Park in Coventry for the terrestrial bits. Andrew will:

– swim 2 widths of the splash pool (roughly 20m)

– cycle (on his balance bike, not confident enough on his new pedal bike yet) to the park and around the top field in the park (approximately 1 mile in total)

– run across the top field in the park (approximately 500m)

IMG 1547
In training – on the bike
IMG 1572
Leggings made by Mummy, upcycled from two of my jumpers. Thought they went well with his t-shirt. They’re really Joel’s but just about fit Andrew too 🙂

Now comes your chance to help this charity, who give shelter to young people living on the streets or affected by domestic abuse in the UK and who give the chance of an education and fresh water to children abroad in poorer countries – these are just some examples of what they do. I’ve set up a Just Giving page where you can sponsor Andrew in his mini triathlon attempt. Any amount, whether £1 or £10 can make a difference, and we’d be very grateful if you could spare some change.

I will of course do an update on the blog when he’s done it, and let you know how much we’ve raised. I’m sure we’ll all have a lot of fun, especially a very active Andrew.

Linking up with #CountryKids as usual

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Shufflepot ice cream – wot so funee?

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….

Kisskin

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).

shufflepot

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’).

Shufflepot
Shufflepot ice cream 🙂

fangle

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!

Wot So Funee?