Winnow! Winnow!

1 year, 7 months, 26 days old

This week Arwen has discovered her new favourite hobby: people watching. I’m fine with this, as I think people are fascinating. The problem is that the only place Arwen can indulge in people watching when at home is the window. This week has mostly consisted, therefore, of Arwen shouting “winnow! winnow!” over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over until I put her on the windowsill again and she points out what she can see. Unfortunately there’s not much to see on our road. There’s the occasional “car!” going past, sometimes “people!” and if you’re really extra lucky, a “dog!” So most of the trips to the “winnow! winnow!” involve pointing out “bird”, “door” and even more excitingly, “bin”. This is how we spend our days.

Her other new hobby is putting things on her head while saying “hat” and grinning her head off. We’ve had pencil cases, plates, tights, cups, t-shirts, bottle tops, nappies, duplo blocks, playstation controllers… once there was even a hat.

In terms of two word utterances, there hasn’t been much progress, except in the “go …” arena. Arwen has realised that you can put “go” in front of something to suggest its movement, and she’s really enjoying it. She’s a particular fan of “go back”. (I feel compelled to point out here that this is in a putting-toys-back-in-the-toy-box context rather than the Donald-Trump-send-all-the-dark-ones-back-and-build-a-wall sense.)

Oddly, she’s yet to discover “yes”, though she very much knows “no”. What this means is that if you ask Arwen a closed question, she automatically says “no”, no matter what the answer is. At first I thought this was just her recognising when she’s being asked a question from the speaker’s intonation and using “no” as a default answer, but it’s occurred to me that we ask her questions all the time, which she answers with a range of relevant responses. That means she recognises when a question requires a yes/no answer, and answers it with the only one of those responses she’s as yet able to say. Clever eh? Though quite annoying when she grabs her crotch, you ask her whether she wants to use the potty, she says “no”, you take that at face value and two minutes later, she’s wandering round wearing a stink that burns off your nostril hairs.

Another interesting thing I’ve realised this week is why she says “mortuh” instead of “water” despite being able to make a “w” sound. We always ask whether she wants “some water” and I think we just say it so quickly, she doesn’t separate the two words properly, thus hearing “mortuh”. If you’re ever in any doubt as to whether she can pronounce a “w”, just give her a glimpse of a pair of wellies, as the mere suggestion that she’ll imminently be able to splash around in puddles elicits a quite deafening cry of “weddies!!!” She also makes a distinct sound whenever she sees a puddle to splash in, but the excitement is so great and the noise so spectacular, it’s impossible to transcribe in mere letters.

It turns out at the moment that the best place to find out the new words Arwen knows is sitting on the floor in the bathroom while she’s on the potty before going to bed. As she’s not allowed to look at a book when she should be getting ready to go to sleep, she gets chatty. She’ll suddenly point to her neck and say “neck”, a word you don’t remember ever saying in front of her before. This week I put a towel over her legs as they were cold, and she said “tow” as she touched it. I had no idea she knew that word. I knew she knows “cold” though, as she says it quite often, always hunching her shoulders as though shivering when she says it. She also knows “hot”, which is always whispered and said with her hands to her mouth as though blowing on them to cool them down. I quite like this sitting and finding out which new words she knows in the faint orange glow of the night light. It’s even funnier when she trumps and looks both surprised and amused at the same time. It almost makes the trauma of putting her to bed worth it. (I sit giving her milk. “Potty!” I take her into the bathroom and put her on the potty. “More milk!” I take her back into her bedroom to give her more milk. “Potty!” I take her into the bathroom again and put her on the potty. “Bed!” I take her into her bedroom and go to put her in bed. “Potty!” Ad infinitum.)

Oh, and we’ve had a new food word this week that finally isn’t “cheese”, “cake” or “cookie”. The fact that Arwen can now say “gape” [grape] with some excitement suggests that we do occasionally feed her something with nutritional value. Even if it is quite sugary.

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