Well in that case…

My lack of productivity over the last few months seems to have lost me my readership, but instead of feeling sorry for myself, I am just going to indulge myself. The form this self-indulgence will take is a post that consists of nothing but a series of short observations about Tilly, accompanied by a ‘song’ I recorded on the iMac the other day.

First the track (see below) – it doesn’t, in the least, set an appropriate mood for the observations that follow, but what do you expect from a self-indulgent post.

So now to the short observations: to begin with, a couple of Tilly’s linguistics quirks (bear in mind that I am a language teacher, so these kinds of things appeal to me.)

1) She has a delightful way of confusing you and your. When, for example, I say something to her like ‘Up you hop!’ or ‘In you go!’ she will invariable ‘echo’ me with ‘Up my hop’ or ‘In my go’. I can’t bring myself to correct this one, though fear not, by the time she is at an age where the suggestive character of these mistakes outweighs their endearing cuteness, I will step in.

2) Right at the moment the relative position of nouns and adjectives, and the word order in compound nouns is in flux for Tilly. The other day, for instance, she asked me where her ‘cream face’ was, and she will occasionally point out a ‘digger big’ by the side of the road. This fluid word order is particularly interesting to me, given that certain languages place adjectives before nouns and others place them after. I wonder if this is an either/or in Noam Chomsky’s Grammar Universal (see)?

3) She also has a few delightful mispronunciations, such as ‘Plato’ for ‘Playdough’ and ‘Catypus’ for ‘Platypus, as well as some fabulous neologisms. My favourites are ‘Noisy Nana’ for ‘Banana Smoothie’, and ‘In-a-While Tea’ for ‘Camomile Tea’.

Moving away from the linguistic to the supernatural, let’s look at what I have to see as  Tilly’s super power. She seems to have been gifted (I suspect by her patron Saint Louise, because she definitely doesn’t get it from either of her parents) with incredible powers of observation and recall.

She can spot other examples of the make and model of both our car and her grandparents’ car even if they are a different colour (something I was unable to do until late last year).

On one occasion, She recognised a friend’s house that we had visited only once before (in our car), even though we were passing it on foot from a different direction, and weren’t even on our way to see those friends (ie they hadn’t been mentioned).

And just this week, as we were passing (at speed)! a restaurant that we had visited (again only!) once before, and where she had accidentally eaten a small piece of chilli (major parenting fail!), she suddenly launched into a blow by blow description of the traumatic event.

It goes without saying, that she is a highly gifted child (or at very least some kind of idiot savant).

I’m guessing that the track has probably just about finished by now.

I warned you!

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10 Responses to Well in that case…

  1. Dani says:

    Hey rod. Interesting to read that tilly has an eye for cars – all our walks are punctuated by milly car-spotting. She knows “milly cars” (Citroens), jjezzy cars” (toyotas – jezzy is what she calls my dad), lions (Holdens or puegeots) and “holiday cars” (renaults. We had one of them as a holiday rental!)
    I like your tilly observation posts! Very cute

  2. Caroline Francis says:

    Nice Rod! Just in case you hadn’t timed it yourself, the song is approximately half way through by the time one finishes reading your post! Which is neat becuase it allows time to keep drinking one’s cup of tea, whilst soaking in more the tune and laughing once over at funny neologisms like noisy nana. I love noisy nana’s!!!! Merci. Cazz

  3. Caroline Francis says:

    ….. correction ‘because’ and ‘more of the tune’ (one feels compelled to acknowledge knowledge of one’s grammatical errors when commenting on your posts)

    • rodbie says:

      If it weren’t for Susie’s proof-reading, my posts would be even more full of grammatical and spelling errors than they already are, so don’t feel too compelled.

  4. Gordi says:

    Hope you regain your reader base Rod, at least with quality if not quantity. Wilco also seems to have this incredible ability to remember seemingly insignificant events with amazing detail, Netti and I also have no idea how/why? He’ll remember the waiters name at a restaurant , the specific colour of someone’s clothing and recall locations of places we’ve been all some weeks later. Incredible really. Love the song, sounds like a collaboration between Thom Yorke and George Michael (during his Ladies And Gentlemen years) mixed by Fat boy Slim.

    • rodbie says:

      High praise indeed, re the song. As for the memory for detail stuff, a friend’s mother suggested that it was to do with kids not reading yet, and so having an incredible memory that they lose once they can read/write stuff. Who knows?

  5. mrbolano says:

    Childrens brains are better than our brains in many ways. Both my girls remember minute details of things long gone. I wish my brain was more childish.

  6. paris75009 says:

    Losing your readers? The link to Facebook seems to no longer exist. Three months later, and after feeling concerned that you had stopped writing I decided that I would click in your icon to relive some of your glorious older posts…and discovered this! That adjective/noun placement is an issue for me too. Crème de visage/ face cream. We are all taking about cream faces at our house. x. L

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