To the steering wheel shop – wot so funee?

In the past couple of weeks, Andrew has well and truly given up his afternoon nap. It wasn’t’ bad going at all to be still napping beyond his 3rd birthday, so I can’t complain, but it does mean that he is around in the afternoon. He is actually very happy to just play on his own for a while, and seems to like the time without Joel (who has at least some nap in the afternoon) to play with the toys that Joel isn’t allowed. However, it does mean he can also get into more mischief now that he’s roaming around downstairs rather than enclosed in his bedroom.

One afternoon last week, I suddenly became aware that I could hear some noises coming from the kitchen. Just as I was about to get up from the sofa and investigate, Andrew came in to the living room and said… “Look Mummy, I made myself some squash!” Wot so funee about that, you may ask? Well, I was sceptical that he’d managed to do that all on his own, so I asked to have a look. As I thought, he had poured neat squash into one of his drinks bottles and was drinking it undiluted from a straw. So I gently brought him back to the kitchen, where I saw the scene of devastation that was half a bottle of squash spilled all over the work surface and a pack of straws strewn across the floor. I had to admire his independence and determination to do it himself, but it took me a while to clear up!

Andrew is becoming very keen on pretend play, for example with the toy kitchen and making us cups of tea and cake, and also acting out role plays. I saw him sitting on the floor with arms out in front of him, brumming like a car. He caught my eye and the following conversation started…

A: “I’m in my car Mummy”

Me: “Ah I can see, where are you going Andrew?”

A: “To the steering wheel shop to buy a steering wheel”

Me: “Of course! That’s obviously what you buy from a steering wheel shop!”

I did wonder how he was driving the car in the first place, but I didn’t like to go down that route.

I’m used to being handed random blocks or bricks and having to play along with the fact that they are really cakes/biscuits/something else edible. Except I did this automatically the other day, and started to pretend I was eating a block of Duplo, thinking I was supposed to be treating it like a cake. But then I got told off…

A: “No it’s not an eaty marble, it’s a rolly marble!”

Me: “I can’t see any marbles Andrew?!”

A: “It’s a marble holder that, I just said, not a cake!”

Me: “Ah sorry I must have missed that!”

Now that we’re living with Granny and Grandad temporarily, they too have been experiencing quite a few funee moments first hand, and relaying them to me. Here’s a good one from the other morning when they were watching Cbeebies together and a cow called Buttercup came on screen…

Granny: “Buttercup – that’s a classic name for a cow.”

A: “I do like plastic names!”

I wrote a few weeks ago about Andrew using nouns that he knows as verbs – for example, to fork something (get it on his fork). This week he was playing in the garden with a ball, and came out with “I want to tennis it!” We presume he meant he wanted to serve it off the bat, or maybe just throw it.

And finally for this week, here’s another example of Andrew deliberately changing the words of a song for effect. He loves singing, and knows the words to quite a few songs (in French and German as well as English), but every now and then he likes to make his own words up to a song that I know he knows the real words to. This week we had: “All do the hocus pocus!” And I know full well that he’s known the words to the Hokey Cokey for a long time, since he sang it most weeks at the music group he and Daddy went to in Cambridge on Tuesday mornings.

Wot So Funee?

Heaven’s level crossing – wot so funee?

Recently Andrew has been getting more into drawing. He still won’t do it for very long at a time, but he will generally give it a go, mood permitting. And this week we have our very first funee on paper (as opposed to in speech), which is actually where the idea of the wot so funee linky started over at Actually Mummy’s blog. As usual, Andrew went out to his group at children’s church on Sunday, and came back with a picture that he had drawn and stuck, obviously with the help of the leaders. They had been talking about what Heaven will be like, and what will be there, and they made pictures on this theme. You can see Andrew’s here: smiley face, guitars, music, trees, hearts, flowers, rainbow, animals… and a purple splodge. When I asked him why this splodge was, he replied: “a level crossing”! You see in Andrew’s world, level crossings are amazing, so clearly if Heaven is amazing, it must contain level crossings. Good bit of toddler logic there. 

Heaven picture

Other than this, we’ve had the usual kind of funees too over the past 2 weeks (we had a break for Pancake Day last week and I wrote about our jar of change instead). After the plain pants incident a little while ago, I thought Andrew might be cottoning on to the meaning of ‘plain’ spelled like that. But not quite yet it seems. As we were walking into town last week, we saw some blue flashing lights and heard a siren coming towards us on the road. When it got nearer, I realised that it was an unmarked police car, and said “Look it’s a plain police car Andrew!” His response was classic: “Ahhhh, it’s going to the airport then!” Of course it is!

In many ways Andrew is like me, we share several personality traits. I find it hilarious when he says something that I have clearly said to him before, and it makes him seem even more like me. When I was shoving the ingredients for kedgeree in the slow cooker the other day, which isn’t a hard meal to prepare, he asked what I was doing, and when I gave my answer, his response was: “Wow, that’s impressive!” If you think so Andrew, that’s great, but I really don’t think it’s that hard. I know I often remark that something is impressive, and often with a sense of irony, so I presume he’s just following in my footsteps here. Another example from the bath the other day… he was getting annoyed that his toys kept slipping of the ledge that he was trying to rest them on at the side: “No, NO! I’ve told you several times, don’t fall off!!” I know I’ve said that to him, after he’s failed to listen to me despite several repetitions of whatever it was I was asking.

But I shouldn’t worry. I may get annoyed at his selective hearing, but he still thinks highly of me: “I like you Mummy…. you’re like Mummy Pig!” Thanks Andrew, I think I should take that as a compliment given how much you like Peppa and family, but being likened to a pig isn’t really what I strive for.

CrumpetAnd to finish with, we have a couple of cases of Andrew getting just one sound wrong in a word and it making for comedy moments. Last week we found some crumpets in the freezer, and ate some toasted for lunch. The next day when I asked what he’d like for lunch, he replied: “Crispy trumpets! I love crispy trumpets, they’re my favourite!”

When playing with his Tracy Island toy, of course one or more of the Thunderbirds always saves the day and rescues people in distress. One day this week Andrew told us that the rescued people were now “safe and sand”. Almost, but not quite.

Wot So Funee?

Milking it with milkshake – wot so funee?

It’s started: Andrew now knows exactly how to cause us embarrassment when out and about by people watching and saying what he sees. He has the observational and vocabulary skills to speak his mind, but lacks the social skills to know what is acceptable. So on our day trip to Birmingham this week, we had a few close encounters with the general public. First of all on the train, there was the person asleep by the window as Andrew went and sat on Granny’s lap on the neighbouring aisle seat: “That one’s asleep!”. Not anymore if you shout that at them. Then there was the girl eating her lunch across the aisle: “That girl’s got a sandwich!” Luckily this passenger thought his observation was rather cute and laughed it off. And then there was the man with the Mohican hair in the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery tea room: “That’s funny hair!” Well that’s what we were all thinking but only a toddler would air his views with such volume and openness.

One of the best bits about going to Birmingham (from Coventry) on the train, if you’re a plane-mad 3 year old that is, is the view of the airport runway and terminals on the way. On the way there, he spotted that big tower that controls the air traffic and exclaimed excitedly: “Look, it’s the remote control tower!” I find this interesting linguistically – he’s obviously heard us say remote control as well as just control for the thing you zap channels with on the TV, and I presume he’s also applied this to the tower that he’s heard us call the control tower. On the way back from our day trip, I spotted the airport first (go me!)…

Me: Look Andrew, there’s a plane over there, at the airport.

Andrew: Ooooh, it might be Fireflash! 

Yet another Thunderbirds reference, this is our world at the moment.

In last week’s wot so funee? post, I shared lots of foodie funees. This week there were fewer, and here’s the first and probably funniest… To set the scene, we were having a bit of rough and tumble play, which usually involves me getting down on the floor and getting sat/trampled on by the boys. At one point I stuck my leg out and Andrew sat on it like he does with Daddy or male grandparents sometimes, expecting me to lift him up and down as if he were riding a horse. I can’t actually manage that these days with his weight, but he accepted a compromise – me chanting the rhyme ‘ride a cock horse’ instead. So I recited the rhyme all the way up to the last line, and thought I’d pause to see if Andrew could say the key word. Here’s how it turned out…

Me: …with rings on her fingers and bells on her toes, she shall have……

Andrew: PASTA!

Me: [giggling] erm, I don’t think she will have pasta, can you remember the word that comes here in the rhyme?… she shall have……

Andrew: PIZZA!

Me: [laughing] I don’t think it’s any kind of food actually

Andrew: err raisins?

Me: Still food

Andrew: errr….curry?

Me: nevermind. It’s MUSIC, she shall have MUSIC wherever she goes!

Andrew: Aaaahhh

We’ve all had various symptoms of a cold this past week or so, including a sore, froggy throat for Andrew. He’s generally not one to let a bit of illness get him down, but one afternoon after his nap he was very groggy. So Granny suggested that he might like a special chocolate milkshake to help his poorly throat, which of course he downed in no time. But then he caught on, and even when he was clearly feeling better, he tried to milk it (pun intended) and get more chocolatey drinks by pulling a sad face and insisting that he was poorly. This came to a head one evening just after bath, which is always supervised by Daddy.

Andrew: Can I have a milkshake please Daddy? I’m poorly [sad face :(]

Daddy: I’m not sure that you’re really that poorly anymore Andrew. Shall we ask Mummy to see if she thinks it’s a good idea.

Andrew: OK!….[walks to top of stairs and shouts down to the kitchen]….Mummy! Can I have a milkshake please?….[walks back to bathroom]….Mummy says I can have a milkshake!

Daddy: Really?!

Andrew: Yes!

What Andrew failed to realise is that Daddy knew I was in our bedroom feeding Joel. Got to give him points for being clever enough to try and play us off against each other like that. But it didn’t win him any milkshakes this time.

For a just turned 3 year old, Andrew is quite adept at letters of the alphabet, and enjoys reading letters on anything and breaking down words into sounds. He’ll quite often come out with the phrase ‘A for Apple’ or whatever it is that he’s referring to – “B for Ball”, “J for Jumper”, “M for Mummy”….even “CH for cheese” (recognising that ‘ch’ is a sound that’s made up of 2 letters) and the classic “T for ‘tato”. Had to laugh at that one, but I know it’s normal – he’s picking up the stressed syllable as that’s what most English words start with, just a shame that potato doesn’t.

In a previous wot so funee post I described how Andrew likes to make up adjectives to stick on the end of the phrase ‘it’s a bit…’. This week’s offerings on this front include the following. When referring to Daddy’s new coat that we bought him one day as a belated birthday present (he said he wanted to think about exactly what type he wanted for his new job and commute), Andrew said: “It’s a bit coaty….and it’s a bit cosy!” That’s very true. When referring to a mini table football ball with the classic hexagon pattern, Andrew said: “It’s got blacky bits and whitey bits.” Or you could just say it’s got black bits and white bits, could you not?

To end with, I have something that’s rather cute as well as funny. One of his latest phrases, as I wrote last week, is “I like you, Mummy/Daddy/Grandad/Granny etc.” This week he came out with a beautiful one: “I like you Joel, you’re my best friend!” Awwww 🙂

Wot So Funee?

Wot so funee?: guest blogging

If you’re looking for this week’s round up of comic toddlerisms, you’re in the wrong place! But don’t worry, you can find it over on Actually Mummy’s blog – the home of the Wot so funee? linky. We received a kind invitation to write a guest post for them this week, and as there has been the usual abundance of toddler comedy chez nous, I was happy to take up the offer. So take a look over there to get your fix of funees. See you back here soon!

Slow leopards and sunrise – wot so funee?

Well the official ‘wot so funee?’ linky is now closed for Christmas, but as we’ve already had quite a few funny moments in the past 2 weeks since it was last running, I thought I’d write one more post myself before Christmas.

First of all, Andrew was fascinated by the toy that Joel got from Father Christmas when we saw him on our train ride at Audley End. He asked what it was, and we told him – a snow leopard. Then later in the day he found the stuffed creature on the floor at home after Joel had discarded it temporarily. “It’s a sleper [pronounced as in leper], look!” I explained again that it was a snow leopard – a leopard that is white and grey instead of the more yellowy/browny colours of an ordinary leopard. He seemed to take it in. Until he picked it up again the next day and insisted that it was a “slow leopard”. I tried to explain that leopards are anything but slow, and I think he’s now got it.

Andrew is now very keen to tell people what they are or are doing, for example their age (if he knows it), whether they are a boy or girl, or if they are holding a ball/ cooking dinner/ driving down the road etc. This week Daddy and Joel have had some good descriptions…

“Joel, you’re a toggler, cos you’re number 1 now!” Ever since his birthday, Andrew keeps reminding us that Joel is 1 (or “number 1” to be precise), and I thought it was cute that he’s picked up on the fact that we call him a toddler now, not a baby.

“Daddy, you’re a pink dot!” This one needs a bit of explaining. Since Tom and I got cast off iPhones from family members who kindly gave them to us (we couldn’t afford them ourselves!), we’ve been able to see where the other one is using the ‘find my friends’ app. It may seem a little stalker-ish, but we only use it for family and it’s really handy to see where each other are, for example if we’re meeting up or if we’re delayed in getting home any time. The location of people in the app is marked by a pink dot, and Andrew has seen this as I have explained what I’m looking at when Daddy is a little late home and I want to see where he is.

Now that Joel is a toddler, toddling around is what he loves best. He’s generally good at walking, but he’s still a bit wobbly when it comes to obstacles and when he tries to run! So we get the inevitable bumps and knocks, which most of the time don’t bother him, until he’s tired and it’s the end of the world. Andrew is keen to point out when Joel has had a bump, and most often says “Joel hurt myself”. I find this interesting – he hasn’t quite got the hang of these reflexive pronouns. He knows that it’s right to say “I hurt myself” when it happens to him, but he hasn’t quite picked up on the difference between that and when Joel has hurt himself. Also interesting is that Andrew will say “Joel hurt myself” when he really means “Joel hurt me”, for example if Joel has accidentally thrown a toy at him or pulled his hair.

In my attempts to clear out the kitchen cupboards before we leave, I’ve been trying to use up all the food that we have, like tins, packets and frozen food. I found a bag of popping corn at the back of the cupboard which I’d forgotten I’d bought ages ago to make it up for snacks for us. So I made some every other day or so for a week or two and we took it out for snacks. When it was all gone, Andrew asked one evening whether we could make some more popcorn. I replied that there was none left, that we’d eaten it all. His reply was: “Oh…..well how about some sweetcorn?” I know he likes sweetcorn, but I wasn’t sure that he’d want to eat it on its own as a snack!

clay jar
God’s got one of these…. apparently!

In all the packing, I came across some vases that we haven’t had out for a while because they are a liability with two small children around, especially as they like to climb. Andrew was ‘helping’ me wrap some up in packing paper, and when he saw a blue pottery one, he declared that “God’s got one of these!” Looking at it again, and talking with Tom about it, we suggested between us that it could be because there is a picture of a jar like this in one of the stories in his Bible, or it might even be one that he’s read in his Sunday group at church. It’s amazing what kids can remember out of all the stuff they come across in daily life.

And finally, one day this week, as we were sitting having breakfast as as family like usual, we watched the sunrise to of the window. It was a lovely sunrise, with lots of beautiful colours. We had our own running commentary provided by Andrew:

“The clouds are all pink!…. That’s funny…. The white ones are all gone….There’s no white ones left like on Teletubbies…..Now it’s getting orangier…..Now it’s getting yellowier!…..That’s pretty”

Bathtime fun – wot so funee?

I was just thinking, it’s hard to imagine a time when Andrew won’t come out with hilarious snippets of speech, but I hope that by that time his little brother will be supplying us with some linguistic comedy too.

First up this week are a couple of observations he made when I was getting the Advent calendar ‘line of socks’ out of the Christmas decorations box. This year we have decided not to put any decorations up because we’re trying to pack things up ready to move house and the last thing we need is more stuff to pack away last minute. There will be plenty of decorations at Grandma and Pop’s house for Christmas, and at Granny and Grandad’s house for new year, so we won’t miss out completely. I did suggest putting some tinsel on the large stacks of cardboard boxes that fill every space possible at the moment, just to liven them up, but the boys didn’t seem bothered. As Andrew hauled some pieces of tinsel out of the decorations box, asking what it was, he declared that “this is very snaky, all glittery snaky”. He also came across some long and thin glittery tree decorations (a bit like baubles but that suggests spherical in shape). Without even asking me what these were like he did for the tinsel, he decided that they were “little golden pens” – good description really. He then walked around with them, pulling one or two out at a time and pretending to write with them, until he shoved one back in the box and they all came crashing out the other end, leaving a glittery mess on the floor. At which point Joel came over to see what all the fuss was about, and started spreading glitter left, right and centre. They thought it was hilarious! I didn’t quite find it so funny…

IMG 0115

With the recent fairly dreary weather, Andrew has become quite fascinated with the clouds. After I explained a few weeks ago that it’s actually the clouds that are moving rather than the sky when he looks up there, he’s shown that he now understand this: “the clouds are moving Mummy”…Yes that’s right, they are, I replied….“the clouds are moving to Birmingham!” Hmm, maybe he hasn’t quite understood the concept of ‘moving’ in terms of moving house, it is quite a big concept for a 2 year old to be fair.

I took the protective case off my phone the other day because Joel had dribbled all over it (good job I had a cover on it!) I’d left it on a shelf to dry more once I’d wiped it over, and must have forgotten about it. That is until Andrew asked me if I wanted “these bits of phone” – until I looked around and saw that he was holding the case, I thought there had been some terrible accident and my phone was in bits, phew!

Now for a couple of funee moments targeted at Daddy. We were sitting at the dinner table as usual one evening, and Andrew was sitting across from Daddy, looking right at him. After a while he piped up with: “are those your belly buttons Daddy?” Tom looked down, saw that he was wearing a shirt with buttons, and replied asking him if he meant the shirt buttons, and it turns out that he did. I’m sure all of us only have one belly button, but I think they’ve been talking about it in the bath recently.

And the piece de resistance of funees this week is more of an incident than linguistic comedy. Andrew was standing in the bath with the water running to fill it up (he likes to get in right from the start when the water starts running), and Daddy was in the bathroom but not looking at him, sorting Joel out to go in the bath. After a while when Daddy looked up, he was handed a cup of liquid, which he thought was bath water to begin with, until he took a closer look…. and discovered that is was a distinct greeny yellow colour. Yes, if you hadn’t guessed it, Andrew had grabbed one of the beakers that they play with in the bath, weed into it whilst standing up, and then thought to hand it out of the bath. To be fair, as Daddy pointed out, this was actually quite ingenious of him, and far better than weeing in the bath itself, though he had insisted not long before that he didn’t need to go on the toilet, which would have been the best place for it! Wot so funee?! Quite clever really.

Wot So Funee?

I DO like… – wot so funee?

As usual, this is the week’s round up of comedy moments brought about by toddler language. I love writing these posts, they always make me laugh remembering the moments that I noted down in the week…

Although Andrew is generally a good eater and will try most things, he has recently decided that certain vegetables are no-go. He can usually be persuaded to have a mouthful, which is all we ask if he really insists he doesn’t like it, if we say that he can’t have pudding if he doesn’t at least try it (and by pudding we mean fruit and yoghurt, which he loves). This week saw a new tactic in him trying to get out of veg consumption: when asked if he could eat some cauliflower (we he had actually chosen in the shop as we’d run out of veg in the box), his reply was “I can’t eat my cauliflower, it’s too dangerous!” Gotta watch those crazy cauliflowers, they might jump up from the plate and whack you round the head or something!

Every now and then he likes to pinch a bit of Daddy’s toast in the morning. Having asked for it one day, he left it on the table and got down. When I asked him a few minutes later if he wanted it because he’d asked for it, he replied: “No thank you, I don’t NEED toast right now”. OK then, we didn’t force you to have it in the first place!

I do love a good bit of toddler logic. As he’s grown out his 2-3 years clothes, he’s now got a 3-4 years wardrobe (or at least plenty of tops, trousers he gets by but could do with a few more). However, some of the trousers are a little long for him still, so we usually roll them up a bit to stop them dragging on the floor. I have been known to forget this, or at least not do it the immediate second that he’s got them on – he wants most things done yesterday. His reaction has been to shout: “Roll my sleeves up, roll my sleeves up!” (sometimes with a please attached on the end). When I’ve investigated further, knowing that his sleeves are fine, it’s become clear that he means his “trouser sleeves, Mummy”. Ah of course, trouser sleeves, it makes sense.

We’ve been doing a lot of packing recently for the big move. Mostly when the boys are out with one of us or asleep, but Daddy was sorting his CDs out at the weekend, which is a big job so it ran over after Andrew’s nap. He came out of his room, just opposite the CD rack, and picked up a CD – the March of the Penguin soundtrack. He studied it for a moment, and then asked: “Is this Pingu?” Not sure that Pingu is an Emperor Penguin like on the cover, but not far off I guess.

And finally, his latest favourite little phrase is: “I DO like [X]!” There’s a real emphasis on the DO, usually said i an excited manner because I’ve said that we’re going to do something involving the thing he likes, for example, eat pasta, go to the park, listen to a CD, ride in the car etc. One example that was really cute this week was when I told him we were going to church for one of our regular midweek groups there: “I do like church, it’s where all my friends are!” I’m glad that he enjoys going, as we do spend quite a bit of time there each week. And it’s lovely to hear that he thinks of other children as friends, as that’s not something he’s mentioned very much.

Wot So Funee?

Back seat driver – wot so funee?

This week’s latest craze in Andrew’s interest is the moon. There have been a few nights recently when the moon was shining brightly and easily visible in a cloudless sky before his bedtime. When he’s had a bath and is helping tidy his toys away, he’s keen to look out the window and see if he can see it. And he gets very excited if he can: “Look Mummy, it’s the moon, look Daddy it’s the moon!” *does a little happy dance whilst shouting*. One evening, he told me, after the excited shouts and happy dance, that “we get the moon out at bedtime”. So cute 🙂 I didn’t quite say that on previous evenings – more like “the moon comes out at bedtime” – but he’s not far off.

One evening this week I’d decided that we would have fajitas for tea. So when we popped into the shops on the way home from some errands, I told Andrew when he asked what I was putting in the basket that the sachet was fajita seasoning (I say fajita with a ‘ch’ sound similar to that in Scottish ‘loch’, not a ‘dj’ sound as in the anglicised version – this is important later…) That teatime, as Andrew was helping me cook as usual, he asked me if we were going to use the “heater seasoning” (said with a ‘ch’ sound at the start). Yes sous chef, that’s right, we need to add it after frying the veg off for a little while.

There are many buskers in Cambridge city centre, and, as Daddy the musician often points out, they are generally of a pretty high calibre. When we were sat listening to one the other day because we were a little early for our group to start, Andrew pointed out that: “he’s got no talker!” After quizzing him a little on what a talker is, it became clear that he meant “microphone”! A pretty good description though, very logical.

He’s very good at letting me know when I’ve made a mistake (or so he thinks) these days. We were reading a farm book one afternoon, and as he pointed to the picture of a small pig, I read out the word that was written below it: piglet. But apparently I was wrong: “No mummy, that’s not piglet, that’s just a pig… piglet’s on Winnie [the] Pooh!” I sat corrected.

And finally, the story alluded to in the title of this post… We don’t use the car that much in Cambridge, but yesterday we had quite a few places to go including picking up some boxes to pack for our house move. Bear in mind that in Cambridge, you’re lucky if you get into third gear with all the traffic and junctions. As we drove round the ring road, probably the fastest I’d got to all afternoon – about 26 miles per hour – Andrew hailed from the back seat: “This car’s going too fast!! Slow down Mummy, slow down!!” I informed him that I was well within the speed limit and there were few cars on the road in front of me or anywhere near us at that point. Back seat drivers start at 2 and 3/4 years old it seems.

Wot So Funee?

Unzip a kiwi – wot so funee?

Now that Andrew is well and truly talking, in fact it’s hard to shut him up the little chatterbox, he has lots of little stock phrases that he pulls out at appropriate (or sometimes inappropriate) moments, and these change over time. At the moment, he’s very into “that’s delicious!” for anything that he likes to eat. Even the plainest of biscuits or simplest of meals are made out to be some sort of exquisite feast as he proclaims that it is delicious! He’s also started saying “absolutely” this week, though I’m not sure he really understands exactly what that means.

Food is a topic that never fails to bring out a few funees. I can’t think exactly why, but I was talking to Daddy about halloumi cheese the other day. We weren’t eating it but it cropped up in conversation (a rocking conversation that must have been!) Andrew was clearly listening intently to what we were saying, because a short time after I’d said the word, he kept repeating “hello-mi” until we acknowledged him. He thought this was hilarious, hellomi cheese. As the 3 boys of the house love bananas (I used to but went off them in pregnancy and never got into them again), this fruit regularly makes an appearance throughout the day for snacks or pudding. As we also like to be silly, we often sing the little tune “unzip a banana, and so say all of us”. One evening this week Andrew had a kiwi with yoghurt for pudding, and came out with the tune: “unzip a kiwi, and so say all of us!” It doesn’t have quite enough syllables to sound right, but we had a giggle at his logic.

One of Andrew’s favourite DVDs to watch is Alplablocks. Each letter of the alphabet is a block with its own character and clothes, and many of the words that they come out with begin with their letter. Of course the letter “i” is very self important – she says things like “I’m so important, I’m so incredible, I’m so interesting etc.”, all with very pompous and almost theatrical intonation. One day this week I was confronted with an Andrew at tea time who came out with: “I don’t want to do that, I want a spoon!” – said with exactly the same theatrical intonation as the i alphablock! It’s quite a hard funee to capture in print. I hope he doesn’t carry on being like this, but so far it seems to have been an isolated incident.

180px-Mr._QuietAlthough he watches DVDs, he actually doesn’t sit still for more than about one 10 minute episode of a kids’ programme before he wanders off, and often finds a book that he insists on me reading to him, no matter what I’m trying to do at the time. I don’t mmd really, I’m glad he likes reading. One of his favourite books this week (favourites only usually stay that way for less than 7 days before we move onto the next fad) is Mr Quiet from the Mr Man series (someone he doesn’t resemble in any way shape or form!). Mr Quiet lives in Loudland and is basically a social outcast, as you might expect from his name. Everyone else around him is very loud – people shout, pet mice roar, and the letters that the postman shoves through the door sound like bombs dropping. One day when I read the bit about letters sounding like bombs dropping, Andrew burst out laughing and couldn’t stop. I wondered – wot so funee? But once he’d calmed down a fraction, enough to talk in some fashion, he said: “letters are like bums dropping”. Ah, bums dropping, yes that is slightly more funny than bombs dropping! I tried to explain that I’d read bombs not bums, but he was too far gone, and remained in a giggle fit for a good 5 minutes. Toddlers…

Wot So Funee?

The year that raced past!

It most definitely does not seem like a year has passed since Joel was born! I think it’s gone quicker than Andrew’s first year went, and I think that’s because I’m so busy running around after 2 very active boys that I don’t have much chance to stop, step back and reflect. Last week, halfway through which was his birthday, was a particularly crazy week with lots going on – some the usual, some special things. It’s only in the last few days that I’ve had chance to sit down and write about the year and the birthday celebrations.

He came into the world in a very speedy manner, even faster than Andrew had for a first baby. Apart from some jaundice in the early weeks that took some patience to shift and so to wake him up, he hasn’t had a bad start in life at all. We noticed within a few weeks that he is very chilled out in personality, and has always been happy to get on with his own thing and not complain when not the centre of my attention.

I wonder how much of this is just that he is a second child, but even so, he is clearly much less dramatic about things than his older brother. I also wonder how much it helped that I have worn Joel in a sling every day for substantial amounts of time, whereas I only wore Andrew occasionally in a couple of not very comfortable carriers that we had back then. Even at a year old, I can guarantee that he’ll calm down and fall asleep in our gorgeous toddler sling, as well as be happy to travel about in it when awake.

Joel is 1

Both my boys have been very active, and Joel started to move early – by 7 months he was crawling and only a few weeks later he was cruising. He took his first unaided steps at just over 11 months, though he is so fast at crawling that he still chooses to crawl a lot of the time now at 12 months, because it’s so much more efficient than his walking at the moment. This is different from Andrew, who was never much good at crawling and as soon as he could walk at the end of 11 months, he had more incentive to than Joel does. But it won’t be long before I have 2 walking (actually running!) boys to contend with. The wannabe toddler is finally a fully fledged toddler!

His ‘talking’ is starting to sound very speech-like. We are convinced that his first word is ‘Andrew’, because he keeps saying something like ‘a-da’ (with the correct stress pattern) in the right context. Nevermind ‘Mummy’ and ‘Daddy’, let’s get our priorities right here! Of course it’s probably because he hears this word said a lot when we repeatedly call him (to do something / not do something), for which there was no equivalent when Andrew was this age. His favourite syllable to babble is ‘da’, so ‘dadadadadada’ with a lovely intonation and rhythm is what we hear him say most often.

joel and andrew

We’re using some baby sign language with him, just like we did with Andrew. We’re concentrating on some key words like Mummy, Daddy, milk, food, drink, nappy, as well as singing songs whilst signing, such as Old MacDonald with all the animals. He hasn’t started signing back yet, but I remember it being quite a while before Andrew did too, as they all pick it up and decide to use it themselves at different rates. In general he’s far more interested in moving than communicating anyway.

His hair is really starting to grow now, and it looks like he’s going to be quite fair, just like Daddy was as a toddler. It also has a bit of a curl to it at the back and on the top, and some days, depending on how it has dried after the bath and how he’s slept on it, the curls can be really quite robust. It won’t be too long before I’ll need to snip it, but for now it looks very cute.

Joel 11 months

The one thing that everyone seems to notice and comment on about Joel, from the moment he could do it at around 6 weeks, is his smile. It doesn’t take much to elicit a smile from him, and although like any baby/toddler he has tired or sad moments when tears abound, he’s more often than not got a smile on his face – a big wide smile, again just like Daddy. Everyone says that he is a mini Daddy, and I think the smile and face in general contribute to this impression.

To celebrate this first year of his life, we had a meal out with close family at the weekend. We picked a very family friendly pub with great home cooked food in Cambridge city centre (The Cambridge Brewhouse if you’re local and interested). After we’d eaten, we headed home and later had a cup of tea and slice of birthday cake. I love baking and decoration birthday cakes, as you may have noticed from Andrew’s first and second birthdays.

Cake

For Joel’s first birthday cake I chose a racing car with a number 1 on the bonnet. I had been given a car mould a while ago and had been waiting for a special occasion to use it. The cake itself was a simple vanilla sponge cake, and I used ready coloured royal icing to roll out and decorate it, having first spread jam all over the car to make the icing stick well. It seemed to go down well with everyone including the birthday boy. I found the very centre of the cake a little dense because it’s a big volume of mixture to cook through, so when I use the mould again I will try putting more raising agent in and a little less mixture, to try and get a lighter cake in the very centre.

As we race into the 2nd year of Joel’s life, I’m glad that I could take this time to reflect on how he is a very healthy and happy little boy with a lovely personality and a gorgeous smile. We are very blessed, and thank God for him.