From The Baby

Give The Baby Back Her Pigas!

Give the Baby Back Her PigasTechnically, The Toddler and The Baby each have their own toys. Nevertheless, The Toddler can often be found grabbing The Baby’s toys. Purely in the interests of showing The Baby how they work, of course. The Toddler will just be over here, hiding from The Baby, showing her how her toys work. Sometimes, she actually does show The Baby: ‘Look, The Baby! Look this one!’

The Toddler likes to present The Baby with her toys, even if she can be found taking them away five minutes later. Every morning, when Silly Mummy gets out toys for The Baby, The Toddler bounds over: ‘The Baby’s play toys! The Toddler take!’ Silly Mummy piles them into her arms, and she staggers off: ‘Take it! I got it!’ She drops them on the floor: ‘Here go, The Baby! Play toys!’

Meanwhile, The Baby can usually be found chewing The Toddler’s toys. The Toddler is mostly quite tolerant of this: ‘Are you playing, The Baby? The Baby put it in mouth, Mummy! Likes that one!’ She will give The Baby toys she knows The Baby likes: ‘Here, The Baby, have this one.’

Not the doctor’s kit, though. The Baby is not allowed to play with The Toddler’s doctor’s kit. The Toddler won’t stand for that: ‘No, The baby, can’t eat that one! The Toddler’s! The Baby can’t like it! Give it back!’ (This is fair enough, really. The first thing they teach in medical school is that you can’t eat the stethoscopes.)

The Baby feels it is time for a little toy possessiveness of her own. The Baby is on Silly Mummy’s lap. The Toddler has picked up The Baby’s musical bell shaker. It has come to The Baby’s attention that The Toddler has her musical bell shaker. She is bouncing and pointing excitedly. Silly Mummy says, ‘Yes, that’s yours, isn’t it? What’s The Toddler got?’
The Baby scours her vocabulary of no words for the right word (not an easy task). She jabs her finger in The Toddler’s direction, and yells, ‘Pigas!’
Indeed. Give The Baby back her pigas, The Toddler!

Ten (More) Things Silly Mummy Has Actually Said

Ten More Things

  1. ‘Don’t kiss the TV, please, The Toddler.’
  2. ‘That’s no way to react to being told you can’t help with poo.’
  3. (In a field) ‘Maybe we won’t point out every piece of grass, The Toddler.’
  4. ‘The Baby needs to tell her face that she likes banana, doesn’t she?’
  5. ‘This is Mummy’s dinner, and Mummy doesn’t want it poking.’
  6. (To The Toddler, who has noticed she can’t see her scribbles, after Silly Mummy fobbed her off with a toy syringe instead of a pen) ‘Well, it’s invisible writing because it’s a special syringe pen. It’s not really for writing, usually – it only writes for magic people.’
  7. ‘I don’t know where the toy knife is, The Toddler: will the toy spoon do? No? It has to be the knife? Why do we need to knock all towers over with a toy knife?’
  8. ‘Are you chatting on the baby wipe? Who did you call on the baby wipe? Oh it’s Daddy, is it?’
  9. (To The Baby, who is trying to crawl away in order to avoid having her nappy changed) ‘Where do you think you’re going with your stinky bum, Great Escape? Are you making a break for it? Will you & your stinky bum be in Switzerland by dinner time?’
  10. ‘You can’t drink raisins with a straw.’

 
 
See also: Ten Things Silly Mummy Has Actually Said

Five and a Half Things The Baby Has Learnt from The Toddler

Five and a Half Things The Baby Has Learnt from The Toddler1. There is a random object on her head. This is a ‘hat’
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a toddler in possession of a coaster must be in want of a baby’s head to put it on.* The Baby has learnt that a wide variety of objects will be placed on her head and declared a ‘hat’. In fact, the only requirement for objects that can be The Baby’s ‘hat’ is that they must not, under any circumstances, actually be a hat. The Baby smiles tolerantly whilst The Toddler puts a leaflet advertising pizza on her head and shouts, ‘The Baby hat on! Hippos away!’**

* To almost entirely misquote Jane Austen.
** ‘The sun has got his hat on, hip hip hip hooray.’ Obviously.

2. Kiss…cuddle…aah
The Toddler loves to do kisses and cuddles. She has a routine: ‘Mummy, kiss, please…Cuggle…Aaahh!’ The Baby is a frequent, if not always willing, recipient of Toddler kisses and cuddles: ‘The Toddler is wanting give The Baby kiss.’ Sometimes, The Toddler will explain what they are doing: ‘Mummy, doing cuggles. Cuggles, The Baby.’ This is presumably just in case an inexperienced observer was to think The Toddler, now wrestling The Baby with an arm around her neck, was attempting to strangle a distressed infant. They’re cuddling, okay? The Baby may not always appreciate the kisses and cuddles, but she has paid attention to the routine. Now, when Silly Mummy asks The Baby for a kiss, The Baby opens her mouth and head butts Silly Mummy (still not quite got the hang of kisses), before putting her arms around Silly Mummy and saying, ‘Aaahh!’

3. It is naughty to eat the bin (and The Toddler is a bit of a grass)
The Baby’s favourite toy/lunch is the living room bin. Should The Baby be lucky enough to find someone has left the bin within her reach (yes, hiding the bin from The Baby is an actual thing around here), she will immediately attempt to get any item she finds in the bin, the bin bag and the bin itself into her mouth. Should The Baby succeed in engaging in this activity without Silly Mummy noticing, The Toddler alarm will activate: ‘No, The Baby! Naughty! Don’t, The Baby! Mummy! The Baby can’t eat the bin! The Baby naughty!’

4. She’s ‘it’
Due to some very irresponsible parenting, The Toddler has recently learnt about being ‘it’. She now likes to run up to people, smack them and yell, ‘It!’ She understands that she is supposed to run away from people threatening to make her ‘it’. The Baby does not know the rules of ‘it’. Nor can she run. As a result, The Baby can be found sitting on her bottom, smiling patiently, whilst The Toddler repeatedly whacks her on the arm and screams, ‘It!’ The Baby does not know what ‘it’ is, but she accepts that she is ‘it’.

5. Raisins are contraband (and delicious)
The Toddler has some raisins. The Toddler holds out a raisin to The Baby. Silly Mummy tells The Toddler not to give the raisins to The Baby. The Baby is having her own, more suitable, snack. (Read: more digestible snack. There was a raisin incident; Silly Mummy doesn’t want to talk about it.) The Toddler nods. No raisins for The Baby. Silly Mummy fetches The Baby’s snack. The Toddler and The Baby are now looking shifty.
‘Did you give The Baby a raisin?’
‘No.’
‘Has The Baby got a raisin?’
‘No.’
‘Is that a raisin in The Baby’s mouth?’
‘Yes. The Baby eating raisin.’

5 1/2. The Toddler loves her
The Toddler gave The Baby one of her raisins. Voluntarily. The Baby is very special.

 
 
If you enjoyed this post, check out Five and a Half Ways The Baby Is a Big Disappointment to The Toddler

Conversations With The Baby

Conversations With The BabyThe Baby has made the effort to join in the conversation between The Toddler and Silly Mummy (not to mention, debated with parrots). The Toddler therefore decides to return the favour. She will chat with The Baby about what The Baby wants to talk about. She will use The Baby’s native tongue, Garble (a beautiful and nuanced language, for those who don’t know).

She announces her intentions: ‘Talk to The Baby.’ She sits down in front of The Baby, and looks at her expectantly.
The Baby says, ‘Ooh rah rah raah!’
The Toddler says, ‘Ooh rah rah raah!’
The Baby looks pleased: The Toddler has just agreed to hand over all of her toys for chewing. The Toddler looks pleased: she has no idea she has just agreed to hand over all of her toys for chewing.

The Toddler quickly progresses to initiating conversations. She approaches The Baby and says, ‘Ah wah wah bah!’
The Baby is pleased with The Toddler’s effort to speak her language. She yells, ‘Ah bah bah bah!’
The Toddler agrees, ‘Ah bah bah bah!’
The Baby is very excited, she bounces up and down and hollers, ‘Gah! Goober rah!’
The Toddler laughs and repeats, ‘Gah! Goober rah!’
The Baby has more to say. She screeches, ‘Geh rah eh nargh!’
This conversation has really got away from The Toddler now. The Toddler needs to shut it down: ‘No, The Baby! Shh!’

The Toddler’s translation skills are a little suspect. The Baby says, ‘Ming ming ming !’
The Toddler says, ‘Ming ming ming! Talking to The Baby, Mummy.’
‘Yes, I can see you are talking to The Baby. What are you talking about?’
‘Kiss. The Baby want kiss.’
The Baby glares. She does not want a kiss. The Toddler wants a kiss. The Baby wants to discuss historical Chinese dynasties, apparently.

Despite The Toddler’s previous record of mistranslation, Silly Mummy still calls upon her expertise in matters of Baby interpretation. The Baby says, ‘Bah bah gah.’
The Toddler says, ‘The Baby talking.’
Silly Mummy agrees, ‘Yes, she is. Do you know what she’s saying?’
The Toddler nods, ‘Bah bah gah.’
Obviously. Silly Mummy. Ask a stupid question…

Daddy

DaddyAbout Daddy (‘Silly Daddy’). Daddy reads ‘The Gruffalo’ (with silly voices). Daddy builds forts (with the seat cushions from all the chairs). Daddy does the big slides and the fun rides (18 month old on a ferris wheel, anyone?) Daddy tickles. Daddy throws (balls, toddlers, babies). Daddy chases. Daddy carries. Daddy teaches us to say ‘fart’. (Good work, Daddy. That was a fun few days out in public for Silly Mummy. Thankfully, we are currently on a hiatus from the word, if not the activity.) Daddy sometimes has a beard.

Yes: about that. The Toddler often points at random bearded men and shouts, ‘Daddy!’ This is comical for the following reason. Daddy’s beardedness (when present) falls somewhere in the stubble to moderately bearded range. The men The Toddler points at invariably fall in the ridiculous to Father Christmas range. If it wasn’t for (a) the anonymity of the blog, and (b) Silly Mummy’s feeling that it is probably inappropriate to photograph either random men or their beards, this would by now have led to a feature. The feature would involve pictures of Daddy and pictures of random bearded men The Toddler has yelled ‘daddy’ at. The feature would be called #BeardyDaddy (don’t really get hashtags, #gettinginvolvedanyway). There would be a special ‘Beardy Daddy, The Prequel’ edition, featuring a picture of Silly Mummy’s Daddy and a picture of Ian Botham, who Silly Mummy believed was also Daddy for much of the early eighties.

The Toddler has a few things to say on the subject of Daddy.

Daddy’s tickles: ‘Oh, Daddy, no! No, Daddy!…More gain! More tickles!’

Breakfast with Daddy: ‘Eat brekkie. Watch chugga. Daddy eaty food.’ Apparently, they watch Chuggington, then.

Dancing with Daddy (the Hokey Cokey, this is evidently not optional): ‘In out shake it all about, Daddy. Doing in out now, Daddy!’

Things Daddy says on the telephone (The Toddler is speaking to ‘Daddy’ on her tricycle’s toy phone): ‘The Toddler speak Daddy. Hello, Daddy. Mummy speak.’ Mummy dutifully takes the phone to speak to Daddy, as instructed. The Toddler snatches the phone back. Mummy is not speaking to Daddy. The Toddler is speaking to Daddy. The Toddler hangs up. Silly Mummy asks, ‘What did Daddy say?’
‘Moo! Cow. Chicka. Monkey. Daddy monkey.’ Wow. Daddy is quite the telephone conversationalist.

Seeing Daddy outside her bedroom window: ‘Daddy climby wall!’ Daddy did once climb the wall to work on the roof. The Toddler now checks for daddies ‘climbying’ walls every time she looks out of her window.

Daddy returning home: ‘Daddy get home now!’ The Toddler says this when it is close to the time Daddy usually returns from work. It is not an observation: it is a command. (The Baby concurs with The Toddler: ‘A rah rah rah! A rah!’ Indeed.)

The Baby has something to say on the subject of Daddy, too: ‘Dada! Dada!’

The Toddler and The Baby have things to say about Daddy, but they don’t yet have the words they need to say all there is to say. If they did, they would tell you that Daddy is fun, Daddy is loving, Daddy is practical, Daddy is brave, Daddy is strong. (Daddy is also, of course, Batman. The Toddler does have the words for that.) They love Daddy.

Silly Mummy has words, so she will try to tell you about her own Dad (Grandad Grumps). Her clever, loving, strong, supportive, amazing Dad. Her Dad, who is always there for her, who has done so much for her, and who she loves more than she can say. Her Dad, the proud, doting – and very loved – Grandad.

Silly Mummy will also tell you about Grandad Pop, Silly Daddy’s Dad. Another strong and loving father, who taught Silly Daddy to be a father. A man who adores The Toddler and The Baby, and Silly Daddy; and who they adore in return.

This is a blog about the things The Toddler talks about, and these – the strong and loving daddies of our families – are (quite rightly) some of The Toddler’s favourite things to talk about (and some of The Baby’s favourite people to shout nonsense at).

Silly Mummy, The Toddler and The Baby wish a Happy Father’s Day* to the wonderful Silly Daddy, and to the two wonderful Dads who are now also wonderful Grandads. We love you very much.

(*’Happy Birthday!’ says The Toddler, confused by the presents.)

Ten Things Silly Mummy Has Actually Said

10 Things Silly Mummy Has Actually Said

  1. ‘The Toddler, don’t ride The Baby, please.’
  2. ‘The Baby doesn’t want a rhino on her head at the moment.’
  3. ‘Sweetheart, the little girl and her mummy don’t want to do the Hokey Cokey…No, we’re not doing the Hokey Cokey now…No: no “in out”.’
  4. ‘You want to phone Grandad’s doggies? Doggies aren’t very good at phone calls.’
  5. ‘No, The Baby, you can’t chew the cat!’
  6. ‘Yes, it’s raisins on a bus. Where do you think they’re going?’
  7. ‘I can’t sing that, darling. That’s not a song, it’s a hot air balloon.’
  8. ‘The cat doesn’t want a plastic banana, a toy remote, a spoon, or a small fluffy dinosaur, thank you, The Toddler.’
  9. ‘What’s that noisy? Well, that would be your bottom.’
  10. ‘Don’t wipe the cat. She doesn’t like it.’

 
 
See also: Ten (More) Things Silly Mummy Has Actually Said

Come On, Guys: The Ten Funniest Things The Toddler Said Last Week

Come On, Guys: The Ten Funniest Things The Toddler Said Last WeekIn what may become a new feature (if The Toddler continues to be funny this week), Silly Mummy presents ten of the funniest things The Toddler said last week (and a word from The Baby).

So, without further ado, Silly Mummy gives you The Toddler:

1. On The Baby, plans of
The Toddler is watching The Baby crawl out of the room: ‘The Baby busy. The Baby go shops.’ (Oh good: we need milk.) The Baby returns to the room seconds later. The Toddler announces: ‘The Baby not go shops. Baby want tea cup.’ (No milk, then. Good luck with that tea, The Baby.)

2. On the dolls’ house, orders given to
The Toddler wishes the dolls’ house to report for duty forthwith: ‘Come on doll house. Quick.’ The dolls’ house is about as obedient as The Baby, and stubbornly remains where it is.

3. On Mummy, waiting
The Toddler is taking an important, albeit imaginary, phone call: ‘Hello…talk…yes…’ The Toddler has spotted Silly Mummy. Apparently, Silly Mummy is needed. The Toddler pauses in her phone call to say to Silly Mummy, ‘Stay there, Mummy: one minute.’ She returns to the call, ‘Hello…talk…hello…hang on a minute.’ Evidently, the imaginary caller has been put on hold. Both Silly Mummy and the caller are now waiting. The Toddler has left. She’s eating raisins.

4. On The Baby, pickle tendencies
The Baby is trying to crawl away whilst her nappy is being changed.
Silly Mummy: ‘Oh, The Baby, you are a -‘
The Toddler: ‘- Pickle!’
Silly Mummy: ‘Yes! And a squidget fidget!’ (What?? It’s a perfectly reasonable thing to say!)
The Toddler (giving Silly Mummy a disparaging look): ‘No. Not that one. Pickle.’ (Okay, apparently it’s not a perfectly reasonable thing to say. The Baby is just a pickle.)

5. On Mummy, opposition to
‘Oooh, Mummy, no!’ The Toddler is a Carry On film. Or Dick Emery. (Stay tuned: it is likely by next week Silly Mummy will be awful, but we’ll like it.)

6. On toast, losing that one
The Toddler is searching for plastic toast from her breakfast set: ‘Where’s that one toast? Where’s it gone, Mummy? More find it. Oh dear.’ (It’s still missing, incidentally. Silly Mummy knows you were on the edge of your seats, thinking, ‘But where was the one toast? Has it been found?’) Oddly, all missing items last week were referred to as ‘the one’: ‘Where’s the one gone?’ It was like The Toddler Matrix around here.

7. On wanting things, actually
‘I want that one, actually.’ Oh, actually. You want it, actually. Well, actually, that one is Silly Mummy’s mascara, actually. ‘Yes. That. Want it, actually.’

8. On herself, getting out of the way
The Toddler is trying to close the playpen gate whilst standing in the gateway. It is not going well. The Toddler has a word with herself: ‘Shut it door…The Toddler out way first.’

9. On coming on, guys
The Toddler is charging across the room. Apparently, everyone should be following. This requires a new command. The usual ‘come on, The Baby’ won’t cut it: everyone should be following. The Toddler is therefore calling, ‘Come on, guys!’ Yep, that ought to cover it, but where on earth did she learn it?

10. On The Baby, looks
The Toddler sidles over to The Baby. She declares The Baby to be ‘gorgeous’. That is all. She sidles away.

(And a word from The Baby
‘Duck!’ Yes, duck. The Baby has taken to repeating ‘duck’ whenever she hears Silly Mummy or The Toddler say it, which is surprisingly often (thanks, ‘Sarah and Duck’). Silly Mummy wonders what The Baby thinks ‘duck’ is. Has ‘duck’ been said with such disproportionate frequency that The Baby is under the impression it is a vital word? The first word she will need. See what you’ve done, Sarah and Duck!)

 
 
Other posts in the ‘Ten Funniest Things The Toddler Said Last Week’ feature
Week 2: I’ll Tell You What, Mummy
Week 3: Think So, Mummy
Week 4: Your Emus
Week 5: Don’t Do It
Week 6: Get On It
Week 7: Calm Down
Week 8: Perfick
Week 9: That’s Not Fair
Week 10: Silly Me

Five and a Half Ways The Baby Is a Big Disappointment to The Toddler

Five And A Half Ways The Baby Is A Disappointment To The ToddlerIt should be made clear at the outset that The Toddler loves The Baby. The Toddler is very proud of The Baby. She likes to show The Baby to anyone and everyone: ‘My sis!’ Nonetheless, The Baby is, on occasion, a big disappointment to The Toddler; and here are five and a half reasons why.

1. She sits on her bottom when she has been explicitly told, several times, ‘Come on, The Baby! Quick, quick!’

2. She upsets the cat. The Toddler has worked very hard to earn the cat’s attitude of contemptuous tolerance towards her. The Toddler plays it cool. The cat respects this. The Baby does not play it cool. The baby is overzealous in displaying her love of the cat. The cat doesn’t like it. Now, what it comes down to is this: we all love the cat, but some of us (naming no babies) are upsetting her and ruining it for everyone else. The Baby is not a team player: ‘Mummy, The Baby naughty. Cat not happy.’

3. She does not kiss properly. The Toddler says, ‘Mummy, want to kiss The Baby. Bring here. Kiss.’ The Baby is duly presented for toddler kisses. The Toddler tries to kiss The Baby. The Baby turns her head. The Toddler laughs, ‘No, The Baby: kiss! Come here! Kiss!’ The Toddler tries again. The Baby turns her head. The Toddler is nothing if not persistent: ‘No – kiss!’ She approaches The Baby once more. The Baby puts her head forward. Things are looking promising. The Baby has remembered this kiss thing: she is going to nail it this time. The Baby opens her mouth and grabs The Toddler’s hair. Not quite, The Baby. Despite The Baby’s failure to reciprocate appropriately, The Toddler is determined to show The Baby love. The Baby will be shown love. It is therefore now cuddle time: ‘Cuggle! The Toddler cuggle The Baby!’ The Toddler moves toward The Baby. The Baby reaches out her arms – she has spotted hair again. The Toddler dodges: ‘No, The Baby! Don’t!’

4. She does not do the Hokey Cokey. The Toddler is doing the Hokey Cokey. Which is to say, she is doing the important part of the Hokey Cokey: running in and out whilst screaming, ‘Rah, rah, rah!’ The Baby is sitting on the floor, chewing a toy remote control. The Toddler turns to her: ‘Come on, The Baby! Cokey!’ The Baby continues to sit on the floor. She continues to chew the remote. She shows no inclination to do the Hokey Cokey, or even to turn around. Not a single arm goes in or out. The Toddler turns to Silly Mummy: ‘Mummy! The Baby’s turn! Cokey!’

5. She is not a bumble bee. The Toddler is dressed as a bumble bee. For reasons that are incomprehensible to The Toddler (The Baby does not have a bumble bee outfit), The Baby is not dressed as a bumble bee. The Toddler addresses The Baby firmly: ‘The Baby bee! The Baby get clothes! Bee! Buzz!’ Despite these very clear instructions, The Baby continues to not be a bumble bee.

5 1/2. The Baby is not doing the Hokey Cokey dressed as a bumble bee. The Toddler knows it can be done: she herself is doing the Hokey Cokey dressed as a bumble bee. The Baby remains very uncooperative on both points. Disappointing.

 
 
If you enjoyed this post, check out Five and a Half Things The Baby Has Learnt From The Toddler

The Baby Joins In

The Baby Joins InToday The Baby is saying ‘ba’. She is sitting on the floor, happily chattering: ‘Ba ba ba!’

The Toddler wanders over. She has her farm animals. We start doing animal noises. Silly Mummy asks, ‘What’s this?’
The Toddler replies, ‘Cow!’
‘What noise does a cow make?’
‘Moo!’
The Baby watches, fascinated. She smiles. She says, ‘Ba ba!’

We move on to the next animal. ‘What’s this?’
‘Pig!’
‘What noise does a pig make?’
‘Oink!’
‘Ba ba!’ says The Baby.

The Baby grabs the pig and starts to chew on it. Silly Mummy and The Toddler pick up another animal.
‘What’s this?’
‘Horse!’
‘What noise does a horse make?’
(Pause) ‘Moo?’
Silly Mummy says, ‘Neigh. Horses neigh.’
The Toddler says, ‘Neigh’.
The Baby says, ‘Ba ba!’

We turn our attention to the chicken. ‘What’s this?’
‘Bird! Tweet tweet!’
‘It is a type of bird, yes. It’s a chicken.’
‘Ooh chicka!’ (The Toddler has been a fan of ‘chickas’ since Easter.)
‘Chickens cluck, don’t they?’
‘Cuck?’ says The Toddler.
‘Ba ba!’ says The Baby.

Silly Mummy holds up another animal and asks, ‘What’s this?’
The Toddler answers, ‘Sheep!’
The Baby says, ‘Ba ba!’
‘What noise does a sheep make?’
The Baby says, ‘Ba ba!’
The Toddler says, ‘Baa!’

The Baby is thrilled. Everyone is now saying ‘ba’. Her persistence with ‘ba’ has paid off: she is accidentally part of the conversation. She says, ‘Ba ba ba!’ The Toddler laughs. The Baby is ecstatic. She has been funny. ‘Ba ba ba!’

The Parrots

The ParrotsThe Baby is very vocal. She is always up for a bit of random shouting. She enjoys a good squeal. She has much to say on the subject of bears: ‘Abear! Abear! Abear!’ Sadly for The Baby, whilst she chatters excitedly, loudly and incessantly, she is chattering in a different language to everyone around her. Even The Toddler is confused. The Toddler tries to explain to The Baby that there are no bears. She makes suggestions as to how The Baby may have become confused: ‘No, The baby! No bear – Daddy!’ The Baby is adamant: ‘Abear! Abear!’

The Baby and The Toddler are at the zoo. The Baby is unimpressed. She sleeps. Occasionally she cries. We go to see the parrots. The parrots screech and squawk. They make an almighty racket. The Baby smiles. This is more like it. The tigers ignored her. The giraffes were downright rude. These brightly-coloured, feathery creatures, on the other hand, appear to speak baby! The Baby yells, ‘Rah rah rah rah’, and throws in a high pitched scream for good measure. The parrots screech. Yes, they are indeed speaking baby. It’s an unfamiliar regional dialect, but The Baby gets the gist. She feels they can muddle through. She squeals and hollers, ‘Ba baaaaaa!’ The parrots squawk. The Baby laughs. The parrots told a funny joke. The parrots are very loud. The Baby is unfazed. The Baby is very loud. The parrots and The Baby are getting on like a house on fire. The parrots shriek all the sounds they know. The Baby quite agrees. She bellows all the sounds she knows.

It is time to move on to the giant tortoises. The Baby screeches a cheerful goodbye to the parrots. She is in her element. People – albeit slightly odd-looking, beaky ones – are speaking her language for once. She turns her attention to the nearest tortoise. ‘Ba ba ba. Aaaah ra ra. Goober. Abear?’ The tortoise stares at her. It says nothing. The Baby’s smile fades. Here we go again. The tortoise is rude.