Foots and Falled

2 years, 9 months, 29 days old

It’s been a good while since I’ve written a blog, and there’s a very good reason for it: Arwen’s language is getting much, much clearer and her sentences and conversations are much, much longer. When I started this blog just over a year ago, she’d just hit 50 words and was only just starting to string two together at once, so it was easy to point out little things that she’d said that were funny. Now that she has full conversations, it’s harder to pick out the little things as it’s often the whole conversation that makes us laugh. Though you still get the odd little gems, which I try to note down on twitter and Facebook, and some that I’ve saved for here.

She’s a big fan of counting at the minute, and is interested in learning what the symbols for numbers are. She’s getting to the point where she can count up to twenty with just a couple of mistakes when she gets to the higher numbers, so I have no idea why, when she was counting a couple of weeks ago, she counted “One, two, three, four, b for Barney.” I mean, at least she’s recognising letters as well, but still. She’s also a big fan of days of the week, mainly because she has a set of pairs of knickers with days of the week on them. Though they don’t contain Saturday or Sunday knickers. Are you not supposed to put underwear on your kids on the weekend? Is this a rule I didn’t know? Anyhow, she was counting the days of the week off on her fingers recently, and they’re apparently “Wednesday, Tuesday, Friday, Picnic day.” This bizarreness of that was bettered the following day when we were driving past the library and she told me “We go to the library on a Monday.” I told her that that’s right, we do. Then I asked which other day we go, expecting an answer of Friday. And not an answer of “Erm, Liverpool day.”

Language paragraph alert! I was fascinated today to realise that Arwen’s just hit the stage where she’s starting to make virtuous errors. By that I mean that she used to use words like “feet” and “fell”, but today I’ve heard her both refer to her “foots” and say that she “falled”. Now this might sound like she’d regressing and making mistakes out of nowhere, but it’s a vital part of the language learning process. She used to get irregular plurals and past tenses right because she was copying what she’d heard the people around her say. However, now she’s properly learning the rules of how to make plurals (add an s on to the end of a word) and past tenses (add an ed on the end of a word) so she’s applying them everywhere. Linguists refer to these as virtuous errors because although she’s getting things wrong that she previously got right, she’s doing it because she’s learning language rules and applying them wherever she sees fit. It’s a brilliant process that too often people only notice because they think kids are making mistakes, but what they’re actually showing you is how bloody clever they are.

And though she’s obviously being incredibly clever with her language, she most definitely hasn’t learnt the concept of metaphors yet. She came over and kissed me the other day, and I told her that I love it when she kisses me out of the blue. To which I got the entirely sensible response “Where the blue?” Try explaining that to a two year old. Because I tried, and I couldn’t. My other failing recently has been to teach her things I shouldn’t have. Playing against Arwen and Daddy on the Wii recently, Daddy deliberately ran into me and knocked me down (again!) on the umbrella game. I quite rightly told him to sod off. Arwen then looked indignant and said “We not gonna sod off!” Which was fair enough. I also told the cat to bugger off recently when she was getting in the way, as cats so often do. Arwen’s response was to say “You bugger off.” Then “You bugger rock.” Closely followed by “You bugger beanbag.” followed by hysterical laughter. I don’t get that kid sometimes. She also hit her head on the wall when climbing into bed the other week, so I told her the wall was being mean and that we should tell it off. As I said “Naughty wall!”, Arwen responded with “Yeah, bog off!” I’d say I don’t know where she got that from, but going on the evidence, it was probably me.

And now for some other one-liners that didn’t fit in the other paragraphs. I don’t know what the cat did to upset her the other morning, but it must have been serious as she came stomping into the kitchen where I was washing up and announced “I not going to give the cat a bednight kiss!” Fair nuff. She may have been unhappy with the cat, but she’s getting on well with inanimate objects as she threw a beach ball down the stairs recently and shouted after it “I love you big ball!” There was also a melancholy tone in the air a couple of weeks ago when I was strapping her into her car seat after a trip to Asda. A young lad went past the car and Arwen suddenly and rather bizarrely turned into a narrator, saying “The boy walk sadly past the car.” It was like a sombre, and rubbish, audiobook had suddenly started playing. But to end on a high, Arwen felt a little bit sick before she went to bed tonight, but then explained to me how it had all worked out fine: “I had some water and that feeled me much, much better.” So that’s good, then.