My son is a verbal sponge at the moment, he's finally at the point most of his friends were at about six months ago where he will repeat and remember pretty much any word you throw his way which has its amusing moments for a bored parent; 'Constipation', anyone?
The downside is that often we can't understand him and he gets very frustrated repeating something to us earnestly while we cock our heads to one side and say 'banana? sofa? deck-chair?' He greets all this parental stupidity with a proper 'tch' sound now that only lacks rolled eyes and a big sigh.
The upside is that we have now worked out the meaning of all his swear words and are reckless with relief. 'Bugger' turns out to be 'buttons' and is his word for any remote control. 'Fuq' is 'fork'; 'battid' is 'broken' and 'Shih'? Well, er, it seems to mean something he's er, dropped, er, or, um, something that's gone wrong, or... or... sigh.
One of his latest acquisitions is 'Hello' which has turned him into Basil Fotherinton Thomas as he dances down the street saying 'Hello car, hello bus, hello light, hello bus, hello bus, hello door, hello bus, hello car'. Soon I am certain he will marry that with some of his new inner-city lingo and we will have 'hello car alarm', 'hello tow-truck' and 'hello crack head' but meanwhile I can cluck happily over 'Hello Mummy'. The problem is that his room is at the front of the flat and while our street is fairly quiet, there are quite a lot of late night goings-on outside his window. Tonight there was a house alarm, four car horns and someone yelling 'yeah, fuck you' just while I was settling him down with his bottle and this isn't that bad a night; I'm sure he is absorbing a lot of less-than-savoury information.
Mind you, having him to sleep in our room isn't that much better; the other night he lurched awake to inform me that 'Daddy Fart!', a fact about which I was sadly already aware. Other distractions include the alarm chuntering on at 3:30 because he'd been trying to program it to talk to the Space Station and Sammy marching stiffly over our soft parts in an attempt to get someone to feed him at 5am.
He's also speaking some French which means that some of his words are mutants - 'Daup' means either 'Jump' or 'Saute' and I suspect there are more vermin such as this breeding in his vocabulary. We'll have to go in there with a dictionary at some point and root them out.
Anyway, it is a real joy to hear him communicate, however it does rather blow my personal myth that he is some sort of latent poet as the truth appears to be that all he really wants to talk about is cars.