Play talk read repeat

Bedtime stories

As parents, we all want to raise our kids to be the best they can be, but what’s the best way to go about doing that? Everyone has their own ideas on how to go about it – the plethora of books on the subject is evidence of that – but there are a few fundamentals that we can all agree on, and one of those is taking the time to interact with them, building social skills that will literally last a lifetime.

It’s no secret that I love reading to the girls, something I recently wrote about over at Mutterings of a Fool. But not everyone is as comfortable with their children, which is where the Scottish Government’s new campaign, PlayTalkRead, comes in.

They’re looking to encourage all parents to interact with their kids, with a big part of that being the PlayTalkRead website which is chockablock with ideas of how to get involved with kids, with more being added all the time.

PlayTalkRead are also running an ad campaign, which debuted during one of last week’s World Cup games, and asks us to #saythanks to the people who made us what we are today.

I’d like to #saythanks to my own mum and dad, for the time they spent with me, the solid foundation that gave me, and the lifelong love of learning that came with it. I hope one day my own girls will be able to say the same thing.

This autumn I'm running/cycling in a 30km duathlon and a half marathon, to raise money for Breast Cancer Campaign. You can read more about my challenge here or support me here. All donations, however big or small, gratefully received!

You know my name

image

I’ve written a couple of times about Megan’s ever improving speech and ever growing vocabulary, and how amazing it is to watch.

So it seems strange to now be writing about how the same thing has made me a little bit sad, but hopefully you’ll see why.

One of Heather’s first words was her own name. In fact, it might have even been her very first word. And it was one of Megan’s first words too, probably because she heard us shout it so much. Or maybe it was a defence mechanism – Heather has always been fond of her sister, often to the point of literally smothering her with love!

But try as we might, we could never get Megan to say her own name. For a long time, “Me” was what she insisted she was called, which is actually very hard to argue with.

That changed a few weeks ago, when she decided that her name was, in fact, Meggy. I say decided because I’m convinced that whole “Me” business was just to wind us up. Which sounds silly to say of a 2 year old, but she’s got previous, so I wouldn’t put it past her.

The Meggy phase was, as it turned out, to be very short-lived. As of last week she’s started referring to herself as Megan. And, while I’m obviously proud of her, and pleased that she’s continuing to learn and develop, I’m also a bit sad.

It’s another reminder of how quickly they change, and how fleeting these early years. And, of course, of how important it is to record those moments, so that in years to come things like the transition from Me to Meggy to Megan won’t be forgotten, which is exactly the reason I started blogging in the first place.

The potential for embarrassing the girls in their teenage years is just an added bonus! :)

This autumn I'm running/cycling in a 30km duathlon and a half marathon, to raise money for Breast Cancer Campaign. You can read more about my challenge here or support me here. All donations, however big or small, gratefully received!

Word up

Megan, with a bag on her head

We’ve now reached a very fun stage with Megan, where she’s really starting to get the hang of talking, and the words come tumbling out. She’s a little later getting here than her sister was, but now that she has, she’s making up for lost time and we’re getting 2 or 3 new words every day.

Of course, not all of those words could be classed as the Queen’s English, but it’s the combination of mispronounced and completely made up words that make it so much fun.

We often talked about writing a list of Heather’s “kidisms”, but never quite got round to it. Consequently, a lot have been forgotten already, which is a real shame, because it was such an important part of her development. I’m sure “hairpoo” (it’s what you wash your hair with), “mermaids” (mayonnaise, as in a chicken mermaids sandwich) and “activity play” (it’s what kids perform at Christmas) will live on forever though!

Anyway, I’m not making the same mistake again, so here I proudly
present the A to (almost) Z of Megan (first edition):

  • Aieee – Daddy Lion, Megan’s favourite toy. Also, Auntie Ali
  • Bah-bee – Barbie. Megan love love loves the Barbie movies, much to Gem’s dismay
  • Boaba – Spongebob Squarepants
  • Boobie – blueberries
  • Cuggle – cuddle
  • Daddy – Me :)
  • Dedda – Heather
  • Dim Dom – Ding dong, used when her and Heather play at door to door selling (yes, really!)
  • Eeeeeee – Uncle Ian. Or Uncle Iain. How confusing!
  • Gemma – occasionally used to get Mummy’s attention. Not encouraged
  • Gamma – refers to both Grandma AND Grandpa
  • Guv – gloves
  • Jew – squash, fruit juice etc
  • Kokie-Kokie – Confused.com, as sung along to the advert
  • Me – Megan point blank refuses to say her own name. This is as close as we get
  • Mummy/Mama – guess who?
  • Nana – refers to both Nana AND Grandad (spotting a theme here)
  • No – no. Also, nose. And snow
  • Nyeah – yes. Sometimes this is hard to differentiate from no
  • Out – Could you he so kind as to lift me from my cot/highchair? NOW!
  • Ower – Over, as in fallen over
  • Pay – play
  • Peppa – Peppa Pig. Also, thanks to Happy Mrs Chicken, refers to the iPad. And paper
  • Pea – please
  • Pooey – My nappy needs changing (applies whether actually pooey or just wet)
  • Readit – I would like you to read me this story, if it’s not too much trouble
  • Shot – My turn. Usually screamed at the top of her voice
  • Tea – teeth. Also, both tea AND coffee
  • Teddy – pretty much any toy that isn’t Daddy Lion, Pooh or Minnie Mouse. Including Westwood, the big dog
  • Toyet – toilet
  • TT – television
  • Tyah – Tyler the penguin
  • Wan – run
  • Why – repeated ad infinitum, surely the worst word in her entire vocabulary

As I write this list, and leave out a lot of other words that she uses on a regular basis, I’m realising that she really does have quite the vocabulary. Maybe she’s not so far off her sister’s pace after all.

Edit: I had completely forgotten I wrote about Megan starting to talk, back in September. It’s nice to see how far she’s come in the last few months!

This autumn I'm running/cycling in a 30km duathlon and a half marathon, to raise money for Breast Cancer Campaign. You can read more about my challenge here or support me here. All donations, however big or small, gratefully received!

Happy talk, keep talkin’ happy talk

Chillaxin'Somewhat unbelievably, Megan is now a week or so shy of 18 months old – how on earth did that happen? – and as such has reached a great stage in her development, as she begins to use the same words as the rest of us.

She’s been slowly building up a vocabulary for some time, but in the last week or so the words have been coming thick and fast, sometimes two or three new ones a day, and it’s really amazing to witness. Off the top of my head, these are the words and phrases she can say: coat, hair, teddy, shoes, all done, door, ta, ta ta, love you, night night, Mummy, Daddy, Grandma, Nana (as in Gem’s mum), nana (as in banana), key (which she knows goes in the lock to open the door), there.

I’m quite sure there are plenty more that she can say that I’ve forgotten right now, but it’s a good list nonetheless.

Eating spaghettiPerhaps more interesting is that over the past few months there have been words that have come and gone. Things that she can and does say for days on end, but which then mysteriously disappear, never to be heard again. One of those was Heather (or Heedah, as Megan put it) which was one of the first things she was able to say, which would be useful on a daily basis, and yet fell completely out of use before making a reappearance in the last few days.

Of course there are also a few mystery words and phrases which crop up a lot, and are recognisable, but we’re clueless as to what they mean. I’m thinking specifically of gummy which is by far the most common thing Megan says. It genuinely seems to mean everything and nothing. Maybe she just says it to mess with our heads?

Inevitably we find ourselves comparing Megan’s progress with Heather’s – how could you not, especially when we’ve got a very definite comparison point (we visited New York when H was 16 months). Megan has been a little slower to start using words herself, which I believe is common with second children, and nothing to be concerned about.

Especially since she appears to understand every word we say to her!

Honestly, it’s uncanny, and she’s been like it for months. It doesn’t seem to matter what we say to her, how complicated the sentence structure is, she understands. Amazing, and not how we remember Heather at all. Mind you, Heather never stood still long enough to talk to her in anything more than snatches and fragments, so it’s probably not a fair comparison!

Fun at Riverside MuseumOf course, the noise we hear from Megan most is the horrible, horrible screech that means Heather has upset her in some way – usually by sitting on her, or taking something away from her, or knocking her over, or… well, you get the idea. The noise reminds me of pterodactyls in Hollywood movies, or maybe some of the bigger birds of prey we’ve seen at zoos and wildlife parks. Truly a horrible noise.

I’ll be glad when she grows out of that one… IF she grows out of it!

This autumn I'm running/cycling in a 30km duathlon and a half marathon, to raise money for Breast Cancer Campaign. You can read more about my challenge here or support me here. All donations, however big or small, gratefully received!