Sunday, 13 February 2011
Gilby Says 'No'
In spite of Gilby's rich and varied (and newly acquired) vocabulary that includes such gems as:
- All aboard!
- baby (applied to anyone the same age or younger than himself, with absolutely no concept that he might still be considered one...)
- control (for remote control; he doesn't seem to have adopted the household's preferred term, 'blibber')
- like it (said with a screwy-up face that actually means 'I don't like it')
along with dozens of others, many of which are uninterpretable, there is one word that rings out loud and clear, and at least 100 times a day: "No!"
At certain times he seems to get in to a cycle of 'nos' that he cannot escape from. Even if the options offered are mutually exclusive.
Are you finished? - No!
Would you like some more, then? - No!
Would you like to get down from the table? - No!
Would you like to stay there all day? - No!
Sometimes as they build, they are pronounced with increasing petulance. At others, you can forget Carol Beer's 'Computer says 'no'!' Gilby's automaton-like negatives are a force to be reckoned with.
I know it's an assertion of his rights, a testing of the boundaries, a manifestation of his growing independence and individuality, but it's bloody funny. Especially after abouth the fifth consecutive one, when I can do nothing but stand back and laugh...because he combines his responses with his cartoon-sad-face: comically protruding lips down-turned at the corners; breathing heavily downwards through his nostrils as though blowing smoke; the excessively heavy frown, large eyes peering up accusingly beneath. He just needs to make mock horns with his fingers and push his leg backwards to complete the picture of a raging bull about to charge.
So, this is how breakfast ends, this morning. It's going to be a long day.