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...)
- ballet
- balloon
- breakfast
- control (for remote control; he doesn't seem to have adopted the household's preferred term, 'blibber')
- cricket
- like it (said with a screwy-up face that actually means 'I don't like it')
- penguin
- present

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.


  1. OH Lordy - I wish you luck! The no thing is really so tiresome.

  2. The word No is used a lot in this house although generally by me....