Tagged Baby talk

The Baby’s Five Most Important Words and Phrases (and How to Use Them)

The Baby has been chatty of late. She has identified the key words and phrases of the English language, and has been using them with gusto. Now, many of you may be surprised to learn what the most significant words and phrases in the English language, as set out below, actually are (particularly as one of them would appear to be French). Please do not be embarrassed: few are able to attain the lofty heights of The Baby’s grasp on linguistics. The correct frequency and proper usage for the word ‘duck’, for example, is understood by woefully few people. In an effort to re-educate, therefore, here are the words you need to know, and how you should be using them.

1. Cat
The Baby’s unrequited love affair with the cat continues. ‘Cat’ was probably her first clear word, after the usual ‘mama’ and ‘dada’. The Baby likes to make sure everyone is aware of the cat’s location at all times. She will jab her finger insistently in the cat’s direction and yell, ‘Cat! Cat!’ Should The Baby’s cat location services ever be specifically called upon with an actual query about where the cat is, The Baby is beside herself with glee: ‘Cat! Cat!’ The cat tries her best to be inconspicuous. Sorry, cat, like a tiny Liam Neeson: The Baby will look for you, she will find you, and she will point at you.

2. The Toddler
Of course, The Baby isn’t actually saying ‘The Toddler’. That would be weird. But she has started to say The Toddler’s real name. She first did this on an outing to the common, whilst The Toddler was running around and hiding behind trees. The Baby pointed at her: ‘The Toddler! The Toddler!’ It had come to The Baby’s attention that, like the cat, The Toddler was trying to hide. As with the cat, The Baby wasn’t having any of it. Never attempt to go incognito around The Baby. She will identify you. Loudly and repeatedly.

The Baby also likes to use her new word to request that The Toddler partake in her favourite game: peekaboo. She shouts, ‘The Toddler!’ The Toddler looks up. The Baby covers her eyes and giggles. The Baby repeats the process. Just a few times. The Toddler obligingly plays peekaboo. She was personally requested, after all.

3. Duck and quack
Presumably these words came from Sarah and Duck (the recent addition of ‘sayer duck’ to The Baby’s repertoire would seem to support this). Ducks occur to The Baby at random times, following which she will spend a pleasant fifteen or so minutes happily hollering, ‘Duck! Duck! Duck! Quack! Duck! Duck!’ As The Toddler has recently discovered the cupboard where the juggling balls are kept, and has taken to using them as missiles, The Baby’s love of chatting about ducks doubles as good safety advice.

4. Frere Jacques
The Toddler has been singing Frere Jacques a lot lately. Being a good, doting little sister, The Baby has therefore decided this is her favourite song. She bursts into ‘rehreh jacka’ at regular intervals, and is delighted when people join in. If people don’t join in, The baby offers light encouragement. Which is to say she relentlessly screeches, ‘Rehreh jacka! Rehreh jacka!’

5. Catch
When throwing and catching are taking place, The Baby likes to be involved. She likes to ensure that it is clear that she is involved by shouting ‘catch’ whenever anyone else says ‘catch’. It should be noted that, for all the shouting of ‘catch’, very little catching actually occurs. Though Baby can claim a better catching record than The Toddler – she has occasionally caught balls with her face, at least. The Baby’s reaction to being hit in the face with a ball? ‘Catch!’

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!

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…

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?’
The Baby watches, fascinated. She smiles. She says, ‘Ba ba!’

We move on to the next animal. ‘What’s this?’
‘What noise does a pig make?’
‘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?’
‘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.