I often write about Gertie because at Nearly-Four-Going-on-Forty, practically everything she says or does is inherently funny to me.
But my little man is now beginning to come in to his own. He won't be two until late in the summer, but the pair of them will now sit at the kitchen table together, falling about helplessly with giggles at something only they are complicit in, and being Actually-Not-Far-Off-Forty myself, I don't have a hope of understanding.
Gilby now has a bedtime ritual to rival Her Ladyship's: placing all his 'people' one by one in the cot (Iggle Piggle, Macca Pacca, Alien, a dinosaur, a crotcheted blanket and a stuffed bee with crackly wings) then gathering them beneath him mother-hen style to sleep on top of them all. They all have poky, uncomfortable looking bits, especially the dinosaur, but this doesn't seem to bother him in the slightest. I'm not entirely sure how the blanket constitutes one of the 'people', but it is at least soft. World War III breaks out if one of them is missing but as long as they are all in position, a simple, "Night, night Mummy," is followed by thumb in the mouth and lights out. This will inevitably be repeated when he still wakes for another bottle of milk somewhere between 1am and 3am.
He is exceptionally, at times, comically, polite, with an exaggerated, "No thank you Mummy," accompanying any food or activity offering not entirely to his taste. When playing he is regularly heard to insist, "My turn..." which he just looks far too little to be saying. At first this is cute and endearing, but when you realise that it is his turn straight away, always, it becomes less so. Other Mums smile at me in a congratulatory fashion the first time it happens over a disputed toy, then frown at me the next fifteen. Particularly when it is then accompanied by tears and a tantrum.
"Where's Gumps' Ossage?" is an oft-heard cry in our house too. Well, 'Gumps' only has himself to blame for this one. It has become Grumps' new nickname since their grandfather often arrives with a cling-filmed cooked sausage for each of them when he comes to visit. It may stick long beyond toddlerhood. I rather like it.
But my current favourite catchphrase and behaviour, clearly adapted from a well-known television quiz show with a distinctive presenter, is where he runs in to the room and without any preamble tells me, "You are weak! Bye!" before disappearing again.
I'm recording all this because I now know that it will change within a matter of weeks, and then I will probably forget, but I wonder about other parents' most remembered phrase and fable?