A couple of weeks ago G and I defied all that is holy and took the boy for a trial session at toddler football. Given the level of sporting prowess in his family history, he reacted with an entirely understandable combination of failure, tantrums and a general disinclination to follow instructions. But, in the grand tradition of inexplicable parental torture, we’re probably going to sign him up for it in a couple of months’ time, if only for a social experience with a few of his little pals.
On a less torturous note, we also honoured World Book Day last week by dressing him up as Fox in Socks. After checking out the shops for a bookish costume and discovering nothing but superhero suits and Disney princesses, I ended up doing a home made job, with red joggers & t-shirt from Tesco, 4 blue socks, an alice band from Poundland and a scrap of red fun fur from Auntie ebay. Now I’m delighted to hear that he has to wear an all-red outfit tomorrow for Comic Relief. Hooray for re-use!
My favourite bit was the look on his face when he discovered that the iPad doesn’t work with socks on your hands… (more about the iPad later)
In square eyed news, his current prog d’amour is Get Squiggling, in which a friendly monster draws pictures with crayons and then brings them to life. This infatuation has coincided with his real life discovery of drawing (make that crazed hamfisted scribbling) which they do a lot of at nursery. The discovery that you can make things appear on paper seems to have him utterly bedazzled and he gets quite a kick out of handing the crayon to G or me and issuing a series of demands for animals and dinosaurs.
In matters of speech, we’ve reached an extraordinarily endearing stage in which Jim-Jam’s desire to communicate is one step ahead of his grasp of English, resulting in an endless series of wrong-but-cute exclamations that make us grin like fools and chew our fists. A few of our favourites include…
“Hooray! Me did it!” (many times a day, upon completing a jigsaw or puzzle)
“Good boy, Mummy” (when I do something right)
It’s impossible not to perpetuate the wrongness. Everyone in the household now says “figgins“. *Bad parents*
Suddenly this week he has also started an odd business of defining things by what they are not. Where he would usually point to something and say “girafffe” or “bus“, he now points and says “Not an elephant?“, “Not a fire engine?” (imagine this in the most high-pitched and exaggerated question-tone humanly possible)
Another new phrase came wafting down the corridor at me yesterday morning, while I was sitting on the loo, attempting a rare moment of solitude. Above the rapid thud of little footsteps coming my way I could hear the lament of
“Mummy, look, oh nooooo, Mummy!”
This prolonged wail is reserved for one thing only… the moment when the iPad screen pings itself off to the Apple app store, mid-puzzle. This happens a LOT, thanks to the relentless ‘buy more’ links that his freebie apps are infested with. Switching off the wifi setting to prevent him inadvertently buying things has made it no less annoying.
So – what can I say about the iPad of love? It is just over a week since James inherited G’s big old clunky one and spent his first five minutes with a doodling app… and that was that. It is now his favourite thing EVER. Dear god, watching his ninjy little fingers swiping away and hopping in and out of apps at speed, you’d think the iPad had been designed specifically for the under 2s.
I have to confess that I too am quite impressed with the amazing variety of games and puzzles for microbes. A lot of them are like children’s books, except that they move and react and do marvellous things when you prod them. This generation is growing up in the world of Hogwarts, whilst their muggle parents look on and marvel.
Jim-jam’s current favourite is an Aussie app full of animal jigsaws. Thanks to this he can now merrily identify cartoon wombats, possums, platypuses, iguanas and cookaburras. I can see how this will be useful to him. It’s like baby flash cards all over again… (why teach them real-world words like “nappy” or “poo” when they could be learning “octagon” and “transporter”?)
My only niggle is that, as most of the apps talk USian, the boylet is busy unlearning the Queen’s English as I type. “A is for eeant” and “Zee is for zeebra“… and a tortoise is a “turtle“. He is even starting to utter air-punchy expressions like “Way to go!” By the time he goes to school people will think he’s foreign and glamorous. (On the other hand, I expect they’ll all talk like that.)
Well, I’m sure I had trillions of other things to say but they all seem to have deserted me so I shall have to save them for next time. In the meantime James would like you to know that you are a “good boyyy!” for reading right to the end.