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!