Monday, 20 August 2007

Watch what you say...

Amelie continues to surprise us every day with just how fast she is growing up. It is amazing how quickly she picks up concepts, ideas, and vocabulary - but on occasion it can mean that you have to be a bit careful in what you say when she is around, as you are never quite sure how much she has been taking in - or when (and in what context) it will come back out :

Example 1: Amelie is sitting at the table doing her 'cutting and sticking', while Nini sits with her, idly flicking through a magazine. Amelie pauses, then turns to her mother, holding her pink plastic scissors aloft.
"Mummy..." she says, in a reverential voice "...look at the powerful jaws of my scissors."
There is a pause. Nini, slightly dumbfounded, gazes at the scissors. They are bubblegum pink, slightly loose, and designed to cut wavy patterns - predominantly in tissue paper.
Unsure of what to do, Nini nods mutely. Ami turns back to her cutting, as if happy that the raw, untamed lacerating power of her play scissors has finally been acknowledged.
("Where on earth did she get that from?" I asked, when the story had been recounted to me. "I have no idea, but its just the kind of crap you come out with" was the reply....)

Example 2: We are driving back from a day out. Nini and I are having an animated discussion while we drive (quite possibly about 'the kind of crap I come out with') when a small voice shouts from the back :
A: "You two - be quiet! STOP YOUR GOBBLING!"
(Again, there is a pause)
P: "What did she say?"
N: "I...I'm not sure"
P: (whispering without realising it) "Gobbling? What does she mean? I'm not gobbling anything..."
N: (also whispering): "I think she means 'squabbling'..."
A: "I can still hear you gobbling!"

Example 3: Amelie likes to watch Daddy play Nintendo. As far as Daddy is concerned, this is just great, as she sits quietly, enthralled throughout - and thus the situation combines a quiet child, some stress-free 'parenting' and, most importantly, Daddy getting to play Nintendo. Win, win, win. But it is not without a range of side effects.
On the positive side, she has demonstrated some quite sophisticated puzzle solving while watching Paper Mario: "Daddy, if we help to collect the postmans missing letters he will help us get that hammer we can't reach, because he has wings and can fly up and get it for us" - which was absolutely correct.
However, I am not sure that it's quite right that a 3-year old is able to list the whole cast of Mario Brothers when she sees them on a game box in a shop ("There's Mario, there's Luigi, that is Princess Peach, that is Bowser, that is a Kooper...").
But more importantly, I am not at all happy that when she has a play fight with her toys, she makes them say "Want some? Have it!" when they hit each other. Her Mother was singularly unimpressed - particuarly when she learnt that she only says it because "That is what Daddy says when he makes Mario hits the monsters with his hammer..."