nmg: (Default)

Scene: I was taking the [livejournal.com profile] garklet for a haircut, and we happened to pass a church that was ringing for matins. He asked why the bell was ringing, and misheard 'matins' as the name of one of his friends who moved to Cambridge last year (who I shall refer to as M). The important thing to note is that M is the child of a lesbian couple.

[livejournal.com profile] garklet:
Where M?
[livejournal.com profile] nmg:
M's in Cambridge.
[livejournal.com profile] garklet:
Why M in Cambridge?
[livejournal.com profile] nmg:
Because his mummies got jobs in Cambridge.
[livejournal.com profile] garklet:
What about him daddy?
[livejournal.com profile] nmg:
I don't know - M lives with his two mummies.
[livejournal.com profile] garklet:
No, M not got two mummies. M got a mummy and a daddy.
[livejournal.com profile] nmg:
No, M has two mummies. Remember, you saw them both at G's house earlier in the year. And you saw them when you went to M's birthday party. And you saw them almost every day when they picked M up from nursery.
[livejournal.com profile] garklet:
*upset* No, M got a mummy and a daddy. M not got two mummies. You pooey!
[livejournal.com profile] nmg:
I'm not pooey! Not all little boys and girls have a mummy and a daddy; some have two mummies, like M, and some have two daddies.
[livejournal.com profile] garklet:
*very upset* NO! YOU WRONG! YOU POOEY! M GOT A MUMMY AND A DADDY! pthpthpthpt!
[livejournal.com profile] nmg:
On that we'll have to disagree.

I mean, what else can you do in this situation?

nmg: (Default)

Bumped into [livejournal.com profile] hobbitdave while waiting for the bus with [livejournal.com profile] ias and the [livejournal.com profile] garklet after work today. Cue the following conversation after Dave left:

[livejournal.com profile] garklet
Why that [livejournal.com profile] hobbitdave?
[livejournal.com profile] nmg
Well, that's his name.
[livejournal.com profile] garklet
Where is [livejournal.com profile] hobbitdave going?
[livejournal.com profile] nmg
He's on his way home to see [livejournal.com profile] gnommi.
[livejournal.com profile] garklet
Why?
[livejournal.com profile] nmg
Because he's [livejournal.com profile] gnommi's boyfriend!
[livejournal.com profile] garklet
Why he [livejournal.com profile] gnommi's boyfriend?
[livejournal.com profile] nmg
Because they like each other a lot. That's why they live together.
[livejournal.com profile] garklet
*nods sagely*
[livejournal.com profile] garklet
I think they need a boy.
[livejournal.com profile] nmg
Pardon?
[livejournal.com profile] garklet
I think they need a boy.
[livejournal.com profile] nmg
What kind of boy? A little boy, like you?
[livejournal.com profile] garklet
Yes. They need a little boy like me.
nmg: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] nmg
*reads article about the X-37B
[livejournal.com profile] garklet
*looks over shoulder at pictures*
[livejournal.com profile] garklet
That rocket not for people.
[livejournal.com profile] nmg
That's right, it's an unmanned spacecraft.
[livejournal.com profile] garklet
That rocket not for people because it not got a toilet.
[livejournal.com profile] nmg
o_O
nmg: (Default)

An account of a conversation while waiting at bus stop with [livejournal.com profile] ias and the [livejournal.com profile] garklet:

[livejournal.com profile] garklet
My1 like coiley-wotey.
[livejournal.com profile] ias
What's coiley-wotey?
[livejournal.com profile] garklet
Coiley-wotey!
[livejournal.com profile] nmg
Colley Wotty?
[livejournal.com profile] garklet
Coiley-wotey!
[livejournal.com profile] nmg
What sort of a thing is coiley-wotey!
[livejournal.com profile] garklet
*pause* Coiley-wotey!
[livejournal.com profile] ias
He's making this word up.
[livejournal.com profile] nmg
Are you making this word up? Is this another silly word?
[livejournal.com profile] garklet
No, coiley-wotey!
[livejournal.com profile] ias
How big is coiley-wotey?
[livejournal.com profile] garklet
*looks confused*
[livejournal.com profile] ias
Is coiley-wotey big or small?
[livejournal.com profile] garklet
Coiley-wotey!
[livejournal.com profile] ias
He's just saying that! Stop saying that!
[livejournal.com profile] nmg
*has flash of inspiration* What colour is coiley-wotey?
[livejournal.com profile] garklet
Grey.
[livejournal.com profile] nmg
*thinks* What sort of animal is coiley-wotey?
[livejournal.com profile] garklet
He a woof, chase roadroader. Roadroader goes beep-beep!
[livejournal.com profile] ias
Aha! He's a wolf! You're talking about Wile E. Coyote and Roadrunner, aren't you?
[livejournal.com profile] garklet
Yes, my like coiley-wotey.
[livejournal.com profile] nmg
That's Wile. E. Coyote. Can you say it after me? Wile E.
[livejournal.com profile] garklet
Coiley-wotey.
[livejournal.com profile] nmg
*sighs*

1. This is a persistent verbal tic that he's had for the last six months. My, how we've tried to cure him of it.

nmg: (Default)

[livejournal.com profile] ias recounted a conversation that [livejournal.com profile] marklesuk had with Thea, on the subject of apes and monkeys, which got me browsing aimlessly through Wikipedia. I came across an article on Yerkish, an artificial language designed in the 1970s for use by non-human primates, principally chimpanzees. Yerkish has a vocabulary of symbols (lexigrams) which are used to label buttons on a keyboard, and has a relatively complex grammar. The paper referenced in the Wikipedia article (a scan of a microfiche version of a typed paper original) has an appendix of conversations with Lana (the first chimpanzee to have learned Yerkish) that were so close to conversations that I've had with the [livejournal.com profile] garklet that I think they merit reposting.

In which Lana throws a tantrum ) In which Lana learns about boxes ) In which Lana humours a literal-minded researcher )
nmg: (Default)

Now with explanatory photographs:

Mice! Cloc bic! Crunz! Binz!

Karkul! Lionu! Ahhh! (sticks tongue out) Rar!

nmg: (toddler garklet)

Illustrated courtesy of the Bus Slogan Generator.



(note: "cloc bic, meece" appears courtesy of Bagpuss)

nmg: (toddler garklet)

The words have been coming thick and fast, and it's been quite a while since I last tried to list his vocabulary, so this is not going to be an exhaustive effort. In general, his spoken vocabulary is less than half the size of his understood vocabulary, and he's adding 5-10 new spoken words a week at the moment. Words he knows:

  • Most of his body parts, although he has a tendency to get 'cheeks' mixed up with 'chicks'. He also has the alarming habit of poking himself in the eye whenever he says 'eye.
  • Clothes. He says 'shoes', 'socks' and 'jumper' quite clearly.
  • A lot of vehicles. We've heard him say 'car', 'van', 'lorry', 'bus', 'train', 'railway', 'aeroplane', 'bike' and 'fire engine', and he can do reasonable impressions of them all. I've probably missed quite a few here, since vehicles are the Best Thing Ever.
  • Animals: 'cat' (obviously), 'dog', 'cow', 'dinosaur', 'spider'. Probably many that I've missed.
  • Quite a lot of foodstuffs, mostly things that are close to his heart: 'ham', 'cheese', 'yoghurt', 'bread', 'peas', 'butter', 'peanut butter', 'apple', 'banana', and 'biscuit'. He also knows 'carrot', which was a bit of a surprise, and 'tomato', even though he won't eat them.
  • Assorted furniture. 'chair', 'bath', possibly 'table'.
  • Bath time: 'sponge' and 'towel'.
  • A few scattered verb phrases, the most notable of which is 'come on !'
  • 'No'. Yes, we're reached that point, and we're starting to get frequent mild tantrums.
nmg: (toddler garklet)

A few updates since last time:

dog
A dog. After an enjoyable cream tea at the Station House in Burley last weekend, he's finally worked out that not all furry quadrupeds are cats. This was helped by the three dogs that were sitting near us - after about an hour of 'no, that's a dog', he seemed to get the difference. This is of course a phenomenally interesting thing to have happened; I teach my students about various concept learning algorithms, and it's great to see the young lad starting to compete with the cutting edge of 1980s AI.
sboo
A spoon. He said it twice while waving a spoon at me, and that counts, dammit. Also, nursery seem to think that he's been saying it for a bit.
bow
A bowl. Pronounced like the thing you tie in a bit of string, and distinct from 'bow' (rhymes with 'cow'), which is the noise made when you throw something.
bada
Butter.
nmg: (toddler garklet)

Up rather early this morning with the sound of a vomiting [livejournal.com profile] garklet. Cot disinfected, [livejournal.com profile] garklet bathed, and laundry on, and it's still not yet 7am. Still, at least he's still cheery.

Anyway, as much for our benefit as for yours, here's the young lad's current (consistent) vocabulary, as well as we can make it out.

gat
Any furry, four-legged mammal, most commonly a cat.
dak, duk
A bird, most commonly a duck.
dada
Daddy. Or Mummy. Or Alex. Or, in fact, any person.
bana
Banana.
baya
A vehicle (including aeroplanes)
bala
Aeroplane
bu-bow
Bubble. Or any round, see-through and pretty thing (raindrops on windows, etc).
buk
Book.
lo, elo, iya
Hello.
bye-a
Goodbye.
bow
The noise made by something falling or being thrown.
baw
A ball, or something which can be thrown.
uh oh
1. Oh dear, something has fallen down. It may have been an accident, but it's more likely that I did it on purpose.
2. Oh dear, something is not right. Also used when someone sneezes.
da
That, the thing that I am pointing at. Why do my stupid parents not understand what I'm saying to them?

Given this, it's hardly surprising that one of his favourite books (if not his absolute favourite) is the wonderful Sadie the Airmail Pilot, which features a cat who flies planes. Things don't get better than this for the under-twos, it seems.

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nmg: (Default)
Nick Gibbins

August 2010

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