Tuesday, January 06, 2009

écoutez et répétez

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.



Jen said...

Love it! "Daddy Fart!" cracked me up. We are living parallel lives, as always. Read my Christmas post and use your toddler deciphering ears to tell me what the heck MY kid is saying, please.

Helen + ilana = Hi said...

Ah memories -- Hair One had almost no legible (?)words at nearly two. Duce (juice) Baaah (ball, toy ?) Caaaw (Cat) Until the day of his brother's birth --- when we got --- Car! And Hair Two's first word? Bike! First sentence? Ride my Bike! (thought balloon -- now damn it, stop fiddlin' with those trainin' wheels -- whado I need them for???)

We'd give anything to shut them up now since almost everything they say is replete with rolled eyes and dripping indignation.

But I digress..... Congratulations on the communication front!!!

Anonymous said...

I guffawed - yes, gufFAWed at the Daddy Fart bit. Teehee! Can't wait to hear more of your boy's growing vocabulary!

Jonny's Mommy said...

Jonathan has been talking a lot more lately. He says thinks like "Here ya' go," and "done yet?" the second of which comes from when he is having a fit and we say "You done yet?" after it has gone on for awhile.

The repeating things took a turn for the worse two weeks ago when I told him not to pinch my boob (don't ask) and I said "that's my boob!" to which he replied, while slapping his chest, "My boob!" This went on for awhile and I hoped he would stop before going to the babysitters. She already thinks I'm a nutso and I'm sure this wouldn't have helped.

Michelle said...

Such moments of frustration for everyone involved when the child is earnestly repeating something which is so obvious to himself, but all the adults can't decipher it! I usually ask one of the siblings and they more often than not they can translate the toddler speak. So glad to heart that the Spud is communicating!

lady macleod said...

I love it. I love it. I love it. Every time I come over here my friend I get to relive some of Q's early days and it makes me smile and laugh! MOtherhood is the grandest adventure in the universe is it not?

I remember the word game and I clearly remember the day that Q walked into the parlor, looked up at me, and uttered her first coherent paragraph! I was speechless and she showed by her facial expression she was concerned about my powers of comprehension!

Now she's getting her PhD! So keep the Spud talking!

cactus petunia said...

Too funny! I expect he'll be writing his own blog all too soon!

Sparx said...

Hi Jen - no, I couldn't make it out either - but man, Dylan is cute these days!

Helen - very funny! I read someone's blog once who said that when her children were little she couldn't wait for them to walk and talk and now she just wants them to sit down and shut up... wish I could remember whose blog that was.

Jennie - I did too, nearly woke us all up...

Jonny's Mommy - that's too funny! Charlie once put a tennis ball up his jumper and pretended it was a boob, I nearly fell over laughing.

Michelle - it's so frustrating for all of us. He now goes 'tch' when we don't understand him but sometimes it's so important and I really feel for him.

Lady M - I can't wait for the first sentence, let alone the first paragraph... I will probably be so excited he'll be too frightened to ever talk again!

Cactus - gawd I hope not... or at least, I hope it's one I get to read! Can you imagine?!