Small talk

Dylan has been changing a little bit every day of late and has compensated for the sleepless nights he continues to create by providing us with plenty of entertainment. He has been getting very close to rolling over and seems to be finding the strangest of things downright hilarious – his own coughs seem to inspire a hefty bout of chuckles for one – but the most exciting thing has undoubtedly been the array of new sounds he has started making as he begins to work on his language skills.

One of his favourite vocal exercises at present is to carry off a highly convincing impression of the never-seen teacher in the Peanuts cartoons while Kate is feeding him. If you’re in another room, you’ll know he’s chowing down thanks to the constant ‘wahwahwahwahwah’ noise. I think he’ll eventually graduate to Popeye’s spinach-munching-inspired ‘numnumnumnumnum’.

Sticking with cartoons, he’s added raspberry-blowing to his repertoire, so along with all the other frantic sounds he animatedly blurts out, he can also perform a passable imitation of Looney Tunes’ Tasmanian Devil and I’m sure once he starts crawling he’ll add Taz-like carnage to this too.

Apart from these repetitive efforts, he has been trying out singular vowel sounds and you can see the surprise on his little face when he manages a new one. It’s very easy to try and attribute meaning to what he’s ‘saying’ – the other day when I got home, he really did sound like he was saying: “Who’s that?” – but we know the closest translation to any of his musings is something along the lines of “Mother, dearest, I’d like some of the house white please” or “Father, old boy, this is most embarrassing but I appear to have soiled my undercrackers; sort it out would you?”

Speaking of language, I’m going to have to start watching my own now that he’s starting to dabble with the basics of verbal communication. As far as I’m concerned, swearing is big and it is clever; I particularly like the word inadvertently made popular again by James Naughtie and Andrew Marr recently, for example, but I’d be absolutely mortified if Dylan acquired such idioms before he understands that they offend.

I don’t know where to look when I hear other people’s young kids mouthing off and definitely don’t want him ending up like them. We’ve therefore started to embark on a word replacement strategy; ‘Cameron’ is the new C word in our house and I’m sure many of you will agree that it adequately expresses the same sentiment. We’ve been struggling over what to replace the F word with though – ‘flipping’ isn’t nearly as satisfying – any suggestions are welcome!


  1. Gem

    Totally agree with Cameron being the new C word – classic!

    Enjoy the range of sounds while they last – at the minute we get ‘uh oh’ for everything!

  2. Lol

    You could borrow Peter Cook and Dudley Moore’s alternatives for ‘F’ and ‘C’, namely ‘Fish’ and ‘Chip’, exemplified in “Fish off, chip-chops!”. The ‘Fish’ stands for both the verb and the noun, while ‘Fishing’ does the business of the adjective. Or you could cross-match with Cameron, as in “Fancy that, a fishing Cameron following Black Rod into parliament – Camerons really are ruling the world, Mr Cocker!”
    Dylan’s progress – and the reflections thereon – continue to amuse and delight.

  3. robhodson4

    Hey there Mr Chips, how about that old favourite ‘Floccinaucinihilipilification’ for your ‘F’ word? On second thoughts I guess it is a bit of a fishing mouthful!

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