Monday, 2 May 2011

Number Post



Gilby's vocabulary is increasing exponentially, but some of his pronunciation is causing a few problems in communication.

Gertie and Gilby are both fond of Numberjacks, a Cbeebies special that I tolerate because it purports to be vaguely educational. The numberjacks are sort of animated superhero numbers who solve mathematical problems.

So when Gilby started putting 'number' as a kind of prefix to virtually everything he said, I thought it must be a side effect of bad parenting in the form of too much television. But I tried to answer him each time.

So, for example, outside the swimming pool on Thursday, 'Number bin?' a little voice said. The uplift at the end suggested a question. There were two recycling bins outside the leisure centre. 'Um, well, there are two bins.'

As we approached the car, he pointed at one on the other side of the car park. 'Number car.' The tone of this one sounded more like a statement, but one which needed some kind of response. 'Well, let me see. My eyesight's not really good enough, but it looks like a the registration is 'HY47 XXP'. It seemed to satisfy him.

A few minutes later, as we were driving along, he pointed towards the sky. 'Number plane?' He was really quite excited now.
'Gosh, I don't really know much about planes. Probably a 737...' I trailed off, slightly defeated, thinking that CBeebies had a lot to answer for.

It was only as I re-analysed those exchanges (which continued all day long, I might add) that I realised that he was in fact attempting to say 'another' each time, and pleased with himself for making connections between the objects - another bin, another car, another plane. Gertie used 'ummer' to represent this adjective when she was learning to talk, so I was temporarily flummoxed.

Still, we are going to have to ask Grumps for a 'Number pound', as it seems he took one from his eldest grandchild when he was looking after her on Thursday afternoon. She had one in her pocket that was no longer there by the end of the afternoon. He has admitted his guilt. Stealing from a three year old? He should be ashamed of himself!

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