Once a Teacher…

1 year, 8 months, 10 days old

You know how you sometimes see yourself reflected in your children? And it isn’t always flattering? I went to tell Arwen that I was going to put her in her highchair for her breakfast one morning this week, and when she saw me coming, she put her head to one side, inhaled sharply and said “right!” in my teacher voice. I didn’t know I’d brought it home with me, but apparently I have. The once-a-teacher-always-a-teacher lesson continued when at various points throughout the following day she told me, the cat and some particularly uncooperative peas to “come on”, and seeing that the toaster had popped up when I was making breakfast, warned me about its potential hazards by shouting “careful!” I don’t know whether to be flattered by her imitation or concerned that a 20 month old feels that when we’re alone in the house, she has to take on the role of the grown up.

Rather unsurprisingly in this week of Storm Doris, Arwen has been learning a lot of weather related words. Since Tuesday, or Doris Day as it will be known hereafter, she’s learnt “windy”, “rain” and “mud”. And oh, the mud. Her jeans are in the wash as I type, along with a vast quantity of Vanish. She also used Storm Doris as a good way of practising “cold”, “scarf”, hat” and “boot”. She’s a child who’s very much prepared for the outdoors.

I’ve had quite a few eureka moments this week as I’ve finally worked out what a word I wasn’t sure of meant. When she’s sitting on the toilet at night it turns out that she’s not repeatedly saying “cat pee”, but is in fact saying “campee”, her take on comfy. It’s nice to know she’s telling me she’s at ease, rather than contemplating the cat’s urinary habits. I also spent a while this afternoon trying to figure out what “doneen” meant. We were looking at some flash cards, which she’s got really good with, but I couldn’t figure out which of them could possibly be a “doneen”. Then I realised I’d been singing along to Jolene a while earlier and she was joining in. Well, it is one of Dolly’s best. On the subject of names, she’s getting much better at saying her own name, though her pronunciation suggests she thinks we’ve named her after Armin van Buuren.

Her book words are coming on strong as she now recognises “Debbie” and “Nicky” as well as “Mog”, can tell you when she wants to read “Boom Boom” [Room on the Broom] and knows “peddis”, which is what she calls Pride and Prejudice. (Ok, I’ll admit that it’s a kid’s board book that she’s reading, not the Austen classic, but it’s a start!)

The conversations on the loo at night are going strong (she also now refers to it as “toilet”, recently correcting Nana who had the audacity to use the word “loo”.) Unfortunately, the conversations at the minute appear to all be variations of “Where’s That Vehicle?”, a catchily titled ongoing conversation that goes like this:

A: car

Me: car?

A: *shrugs* gone

Me: gone?

A: train

Me: train?

A: *shrugs* gone

Me: gone?

A: truck

Me: truck?

A: *shrugs* gone

Me: gone?

It carries on like this with all variations of modes of transport that a 20 month old can imagine. She has a very big imagination.

And she’s finally learnt the word “yes”, bringing the months of all questions being answered with a resounding “NO!” to a close. I’d love to say that we now get actual answers to the questions we ask, but Arwen likes to only dole out the y word sparingly. Well, no parent wants a child who’ll acquiesce to anything they ask, do they?

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