The gabbling phase

It’s become increasingly apparent that my 20-month-old son thinks I’m an idiot.

You see, he’s started to develop a vocabulary of the essentials: mummy, daddy, toast, (ba)nana, bike (obviously), hat, duck. Plus – with Thomas the tank engine being a joint favorite – an array of steam-train specific words like choo choo, tunnel, wheel, track.

So far, so good. He says “toast”, daddy understands, and toast appears.

However, he’s also got a bunch of words that are less conventional. For example, it took the best part of an hour of trial and error (not to mention some conveniently willing local wildlife) to discover that ba-tah!-[guttural growl] is what you and I might call a squirrel. He’s got at least another twenty phrases that I have no idea about.

The problem is that mini-DarkerSide can’t comprehend why daddy can understand toast, but not gaba-dah!. He’ll repeat the phrase calmly, then insistently, and then with growing exasperation until he gives up and pads off to find his mum. Who’ll give him a banana.

I’m worried that he’s going to start selecting the simpler bedtime stories so I don’t have to struggle with the long words…

I wonder if reading him Iain Banks in retaliation is appropriate?

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