Down the rabbit hole

A rabbit in a meadow.

Amelie’s speech is developing at an amazing rate at the moment. All of a sudden, she’s coming out with new words, phrases and even short sentences. We’ve witnessed the word explosion phase twice before with Dylan and Xander so we shouldn’t be surprised but, somehow, we are.

I think this is because there’s still a fair amount of scribble talk. She babbles away in a language that only she understands, only for something clear to emerge now and then. This is more than a little reminiscent of The Fast Show’s Rowley Birkin QC.

While Amelie hasn’t said anything about terrible flatulence, poisonous monkeys or lorry loads of interesting cheeses there’s definitely a similarity. Fortunately, she has never been very, very drunk though. That’s one parenting fail I’m yet to achieve.

One word that crops up again and again though is ‘rabbit’. Well, it almost is. She actually says ‘babbit’. She has several toy rabbits so it’s easy to see why they get so many mentions in her daily musings.

The other day she walked up to me with two of them and a huge smile on her face. “I got babbits. I like babbits!” she said. I was a little like said animal when greeted with the headlights of a car. Had she really just spoken two short sentences? Maybe she sensed my surprise as she repeated it. Clever girl!

Since then, she has been caught saying “Bye bye, babbit” before chucking Peter Rabbit down the stairs and delivering a cheery “Oof!” when he reached the bottom. She also demands repeat readings of That’s not my Bunny and even acted indignantly in a charity shop when I had the temerity not to notice another toy one on a shelf. “Ermmmm, Daddy. Babbit please!” was the line.

So we’re well and truly down the rabbit hole of linguistics. Or babbit hole, if you will. Given how much she talks now, it’s quite apt that rabbit seems to be her favourite word. As Chas and Dave once put it, she’s got more rabbit than Sainsbury’s. I, for one, though don’t want her to give it a rest.

What were your kids’ first sentences about?

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