Saturday, 15 February 2014

(And then I beat her to death with a loofah)

The Baby seems to have realised early that, as the third child, there is little point in making any effort at all;  she will always have her older siblings to do things for her, and in any event, what’s the point in trying if no one notices – let alone acknowledges – your efforts?

At least this is what I assume is behind her reluctance to display anything close to a age-appropriate development.  At the grand old age of 16 months, she is still shuffling along on her bottom, one gimp-leg stuck out to the side , and taking the occasional step – just to tease us – before plonking back down again and trundling off.  And as for her speech – I got excited a few months ago when she asked for “MORE!” something or other, but, well, that was about it.  Since then “MORE!”  (actually “MU-UH!”) comprises almost her entire vocabulary.  It’s a useful word, with many meanings:  GIVE ME FOOD; WHERE ARE YOU, MOTHER?;  I’VE DROPPED MY TEDDY; and, the ever-popular – GIVE ME WHAT THEY HAVE, NOW.

To this linguistic inventory, we can add the Boy and the Girl’s “names” – Adda and Yaya, respectively – and the ever amusing “Ooof” :

Ooof: Thought to derive from  “Woof”, refers to any non-human animate (or potentially animate, or perceived to be animate) object, such as a dog,a cat,  a teddy, a random wig in a shop window, or a large furry spider scuttling across a floor. 

So you can imagine my delight when,  on leaving the shower au naturel yesterday, the Baby looked up at me, grinned, and gleefully shouted “Ooof Ooof!”.

And so, to the list of the many joys of parenting, I can now add Humiliation by a 1 year old.  


  1. Still laughing out loud! This is great. Our kids have their ways of keeping us humble. SJ

  2. My son is two and a half and STARES at any nudity but his own, and is only just now saying things, and most of them are completely unhelpful like 'rabbit' and 'eagle'. Last week he finally said the word 'milk' after swilling it like a piggy for the past 29 months of his life. I hope that by the time he starts school we are able to communicate wants and needs at a certain level. He tests completely normal according to the pediatrician so I'm trying to be patient.

  3. at around 3 my son pointed at my [insert appropriate word; anyway, it could be described as 'au naturel'] as I stepped out of the shower and said (thankfully it was just the 2 of us at home) 'That's stuck on; it doesn't come off'. I could somehow tell from the look on his face that he was saying this to himself as [ ] was in his eyeline, and he had considered trying to pull it off...but decided not to after 'having a word with himself'...

  4. I did not speak until I was three years old. I have two older brothers so I didn't even bother to try (thus ended up with a wicked speech impediment for awhile there).

  5. My middle child who also bum-shuffled the way you've described, walked at 20 months. She's still not as coordinated as her siblings but we're working on it!

    As for being the baby, my third child behaved in much the same way until his siblings wisened to his ways and stopped doing things for him. The feedback I got from his nursery is that we have to encourage him to be more independent. We're still working on it!

  6. She walks. SHE WALKS!!! Somewhere in physic heaven, Newton is shaking his head and muttering about improbabilities.(She still does not speak, however.)
    Anon, your story had me crying with laugher. Brilliant.

  7. My 6yo asked me today how many babies I had in my tummy. As in, NOW. *cries*

  8. Hi RL - have been following your blog for ages but rarely been able to post because of some weird internet connection - or lack thereof. In any case, am a huge fan and thanks so much for making me laugh. We are an expat family based 'next-door' in Myanmar so can sympathise! Great work, thanks again.

    1. What a lovely message, thank you! We have Myanmar on our list of places to visit (while we're in the 'hood...) so I'll no doubt be picking your brains at some point. (Forget the temples, where's the best place for a g&t etc)

  9. Ha! I think our babies are spiritual twins (or maybe they are just haunted...). The Pea calls all sort of fruits 'abble' - meanwhile, she's allergic to apples and hasn't even tried as much as a crumb of an apple.Also, only started walking a month ago at the tender age of 16 months.

  10. Oh. And she can also say 'skol', vigorously clinking her beaker against our glasses. Yes, I am one proud mama.