Friday, 15 June 2012

Adventures in language

O is acquiring words at such a startling rate we can barely keep up. All too often we fail to understand what he is oh so earnestly trying to tell us, or ask for. He is a polite little chap and we frequently hear the "pease" but cannot for the life of us make out what it is he wants. And whether he is attempting to get his mouth round French or English! I try to guess, reeling off a list of possible desires: an apple, a yoghurt, a tissue, to go for a walk, a brief explanation of string theory, greater equality between rich and poor, a biscuit. Sometimes I think he gives up and accepts something just to put me out of my misery and sometimes I think he's a wily little bugger and will keep on being "misunderstood" to see what delights I might offer him in my desperation. Either way, it can be frustrating for all concerned.

But some things are quite clear.

"Tilda's bed", when he wants to snuggle up with Matilda for the bedtime story.
"Stone shoe", when there's a stone in his shoe. The child has an unfeasible number of stones in his shoes. I think they must grow between his toes.
"Pease window", when he wants to go in the window cage.
"Mal" or "hurt", when he's hurt himself and needs a kiss on the proffered body part.
And just this morning, "Sweet nana", when he wants a sweet but considers it politic to slip in his request under the guise of a kindness to his beloved nana.

He tells us when he wants "more" and when he's "finish". He tells us when something is "neyesse" (nice, as pronounced by an Italian gigolo, or how I imagine an Italian gigolo would pronounce nice. I've never actually met an Italian gigolo...) and when something is "'ty" [naughty], for example when he bangs into the door and hurts himself he sternly waggles his finger and tells the door "'ty door".

He likes to order me around "Maman play", "Maman read", "Maman danse", "Maman jump", "Maman dink [drink]", "Maman pousse pease". This last means "Maman, please push me on the swing". Not to be confused with "Tilda pousse", which means "Maman, Matilda pushed me and I would very much like you to go and give her a good telling off".

He has a bizarre tendency to put Ts everywhere. Milk is "milt", Papi Mike is "Mite", bike is "bite", car is "tar", cat is "tat" and book is "but". Though pig, for reasons known only to himself, is "pid".

He says bye bye to everything and everybody. When we leave the house, "bye bye house", when we leave the park, "bye bye slide, bye bye swing", when we leave the supermarket, "bye bye trolley".

And yesterday at the dinner table he said "Love you papa, love you maman". Be solid my melting heart.


  1. How do you know you have not met an Italian gigilo? Have you asked every Italian man you have ever met?

    ;op xx

  2. Margot is at a similar stage. I get a bit worried when she mixes up the french and english vocab., but i know I shouldn't be since Matilda turned out fine. Right????

    1. Matilda still mixes up English and French but I'm quite sure she will turn out fine. As will Owen. As will Margot. We are not worried and, right!!!! I don't think you should either!


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