Chapter Three-Mind Your Language
For the want of a nail the kingdom was lost.
And for the want of an ‘l’ a reputation has been gained.
The rogue consonant in question is the missing ‘l’ which Raffie merrily, and loudly, leaves out from the word ‘clock’.
The last time he yelled this at a toddler group, while pointing cheerfully, it met with a chorus of disapproval. This was mainly from the group organiser, whose raised eyebrows probably explain why I wasn’t offered a biscuit that week.
Awkwardness aside, I have a passion for words, so while Raffie’s enthusiasm for language is not shared by all, I love to hear him using new language no matter how it sounds.
And despite the indignation of toddler group leaders, his cursing is completely innocent.
I am still at a loss, however, as to how he has mysteriously managed to turn the word restaurant into two four letter words, the second of which I cannot repeat online. Raffie revelled in repeating it as we hurriedly left the restaurant, while we talked very loudly about how marvellous the food was as a distraction.
Proof, if yet more were needed, that eating out with toddlers comes with a rare and unique set of challenges, and a taste of the unexpected.
But Raffie is two years old. He doesn’t care about his missing ‘l’s or whether swearing (however unintentional) is appropriate in a family restaurant. Perhaps for him and other toddlers, the devil is just in the detail.
We can iron out the wrinkles in pronunciation later, while he harvests new words to articulate the world around him. And though he barely pauses for breath, every one of them can open the lines of communication and maybe even take the wind out of a tantrum’s sails.
When he’s not issuing the occasional profanity, Raffie can often be found thanking people in shops, his ‘thank you lady’ is straight out of Mary Poppins, and we love Dick Van Dyke in our house.
He can also be seen waving at people on buses and trying to make new friends with anyone who’ll listen.
So for me, kind actions speak far louder than the odd mispronounced word. But with such a talkative toddler, only just.
When it comes to the spoken word, Babel Babies know their cebollas. They help babies and toddlers (and mums and dads) learn a host of languages through music. You can find out more about how they do this, along with lots of songs and ideas, here http://babelbabies.com/blog/
I became part of the Mumsnet Bloggers Network this week, where there are people blogging on everything from parenting to politics. There are lots of great blogs and articles to enjoy, and you can find out more about them here http://www.mumsnet.com/bloggers-network