Our little boy is learning to talk. To Andy’s joy and my chagrin, “Dad” was the first word Angus spoke. I was slightly mollified when “Mum” was produced second, albeit quite a few weeks later. And then Andy and I found ourselves both being called Mum and Dad interchangeably – I’m proud that my son refuses to pander to gender stereotypes.
And now making a sharp 180-turn back towards stereotyping, our little man is fascinated by all things that go “vroom”; so it wasn’t surprising, really, that the next word off the rank was “car” (#punning). “Druck” followed shortly after, although seems to have disappeared now that Angus realises that there are, in fact, so many variants of wheeled beasts careening around the neighbourhood, they may as well all be cars. Dad/Mum knows what he means, so really – why bother?
Following these early steps into the verbal world, Angus has decided that there are just too many single-syllable words out there. So he is doing his best to correct the imbalance by squeezing out an extra syllable wherever he sees fit. And just to make it a little more fun, he tends to put the emphasis on that second syllable, so it can take a little while to figure out what the heck he’s saying:
“…KA…buh…KA…buh…KA!” (He wants you to hurry up and read a book with him. Our boy, I am proud to say, is a speed reader – he turns the pages before mum even has a chance to read through a whole sentence herself. And he clearly enjoys a cliffhanger, because when we’re 1 or 2 pages away from the end, he likes to build the tension by moving on to a different book. Seriously kid, don’t you ever want to find out if the caterpillar makes it out of the cocoon? You’ve left him in there for so long, he probably needs another snack by now.)
“…GA…doh…GA….GA…doh-GA!” (“Yes, Angus, that’s Maggie the DOG, now remember when we pat we need to be gentle…GENTLE, buddy…yep, hand stays open and flat and yeah, that’s nice, see, she’s happy now – NO! UNCLENCH! LET GO, LET GO, LET GO!”).
“OH…taa…WAH..toh…BA…toh.” Interchangeable – bottle or water. Same diff, he’s got a thirst to quench.
“Mihhh….Mihhh…MIHHHHH….MIHHHHHH!!!!!” The boy ain’t got time to waste on a second syllable – he’s hangry, and he wants his milk RIGHT. FARKING. NOW. MUM.
My favourite part of his developing language, though, is what I like to call ‘the song of our leprechaun.’ Angus likes to converse in gibberish – it sounds musical, friendly, cheeky. With his ginger curls, cherubic cheeks and impish grin, it’s not a hard stretch to imagine him as a happy little leprechaun, warbling away. Diddle dee dee, I’m glad you like potatoes, son. However, the longer he gibbers the less friendly he seems and you feel compelled to placate him. Look, buddy, I’m sorry but I just don’t know where your pot of gold lies – here, have a cookie!
This really is a fun time. And it’s providing great insight into the things that occupy my son’s mind:
“Car!” “No, buddy, that’s a truck. TRUCK.”
“Car!” “Yeah, that’s right, that’s a car. CAR.”
“Car!” “Actually, buddy, that’s a bus. BUS.”
“Car!” “No, that one’s a bird. BIRD.”
“Ghee goi blee goi bah dah bi dooh!” “…Fine, I stand corrected, it is a car. That flies through the air…”