Word Spurt (bleurgh!)

1 year, 7 months, 19 days old

So the experts were right – after hitting 50 words, Arwen has definitely had a word spurt (bleurgh!) We’re now realising that she listens to everything we say and is happy to repeat what she hears, so we need to start being really careful with what we say around her. In the past couple of months she’s repeated “damn”, “gay” and “tit”, but as “gay” appeared when we were listening to Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, we’re blaming Judy Garland for that being the first word she said on Christmas morning.

This week Arwen’s started learning colours, via the medium of traffic lights. I found out she’d been paying attention to what we say while driving on Thursday when from out of nowhere she suddenly shouted “RED!” at the top of her voice as we approached the lights, causing me to nearly crash into Winwick Church. And now every time she sees a green light, she shouts “Go GOOO!!!!!” as loud as she can. She also enjoys seeing the green man when crossing a road, but instead of saying anything when he appears, she just gives him a little clap. She makes her own fun.

She’s clearly learning from songs, too. Having recently become familiar with Incy Wincy Spider, she’s spent the past few days putting her fingers together in a bizarrely complicated diamond pattern, grinning her head off and saying “pider”. Repeatedly. This afternoon she managed to do it for about 20 miles of the M6.

Her food words are increasing, but not in a way that reflects well on us as parents. It’s got to the point now that if we refer to “the c word”, we actually mean “cookie”, which you can’t say around Arwen as if she hears it, she’ll begin to forcefully demand baked goods. This is entirely her dad’s fault as dry January has led to him baking pretty much non-stop since the start of the year. She’s a big fan of “cake” too. She also now knows “bell” for Babybel, so spends roughly half her day demanding that I fetch her some waxy cheese. And will refuse to eat it in roughly 50% of the instances when I give in and get her some. Ace. But in happier food-word-news, she uses “tea” when she wants her evening meal. Because she’s a northerner and understands what meals are actually called.

My favourite thing she’s said this week is “peeboo beep”. Now this may sound like a load of nonsense, but put in context, it was genuinely brilliant. Arwen loves to say “beep” when she presses a button, especially her belly button (so much so that we started calling it her belly beeper) and she can’t quite make “peekaboo” yet, so “peeboo” is her take on the classic. The phrase “peeboo beep” came about when she pulled up her pyjama top to reveal her belly button, and wanted me to notice it. Not knowing how to say “hey, look at this weird outy thing I’ve got going on”, she instead used “peeboo”, the only word she knows for an instance when you reveal something (saying “peekaboo” when you come out from hiding) along with “beep”, her word for her belly button. What seemed like nonsense was actually an ingenious way to get me to recognise that she was showing me her belly button, using her very limited vocabulary. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: toddlers may walk like tiny, hilariously drunk people, but they’re flippin’ clever. (And we’re slowly coming to terms with the fact that she has an outy.)

This week also was host to Arwen’s first three word utterance, which combined probably her favourite three words. She knows that when she says “poo” she gets put on the potty (a fact she very much takes advantage of at bedtime) and, much in the manner of her father, likes to spend potty time having a nice little read. When I told her she couldn’t have a book on the potty the other night when she’d decided she desperately needed to use it just as I was about to put her into bed, she said in an utterly dejected voice “no book poo”. I think she’s still scarred by the event.

One last thing: this week she’s also learnt both “med-in” and “calpol”, which she says with worrying frequency. I don’t know whether this is due to teething or an early indication of an addiction. I’ll keep you posted.

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