Thursday, 17 June 2010

The power of no

The twins are just beginning to take their first tentative steps (only metaphorically you understand, they are still maintaining their religious objection to actually walking) into speech. Twin one is as usual leading the way having mastered the complexities of 'Uh oh' and 'Eddo' (Hello), but twin two has brought his own trademark elan to the process.

He might not be able to say much, but what he does say is said with such charm it hardly matters. Ask him any question from 'Do you want to go down?' 'Do you want a drink?' or even 'Do you love mummy?' and his head will shake emphatically, golden curls swirling around his face, big blue eyes shining with sincerity as he says 'No, no, no'.

I am comforting myself with the fact that this is his default answer to any question, so I am assuming that 'No, no, no', is simply a catch all response, rather than a heartfelt sentiment. In fact I know this to be true as when I offered him some chocolate, the head began to shake and the 'No, no, no' was rolled out as he simultaneously reached out and snatched the slab from my hands.

Reaching back into the recesses of my memory I seem to recall that we went through the 'No' phase with all the boys. Undoubtedly this two-letter word is the easiest to master, but perhaps their early adoption of the phrase is due to the frequency with which we use it on them.

As they crawled determinedly towards the precipitous edge of a bed, or went to shove a drool-soaked rice cake into the DVD player, as they snatched a toy from a passing child, or as they held a bowl spilling over with sloppy cereal threateningly over the side of their highchair, all they would have heard from the parental mouth was a screeched 'NO!'. This could go a long way to explaining their precocious understanding of the negative.

Whatever the origin of this fondness for the word no, I can't help but hope it lasts. I love this transitory phase between babbling and talking, when the squeak, chirrups and gurgles of babyhood begin to take the form and substance that will eventually become conversation. I love that they still sound so adorably cute and that we have so many babyisms to look forward to. We still call the TV the tellygibbon, because that is what the firstborn christened it during this phase, medicine is 'meda' and chocolate 'gockgy' for the same reason.

I also love this phase because it means that they are still months off being able to follow me around the house demanding my attention with an incessant stream of 'Mummy. mummy, mummy', until I snap under this linguistic torture.


  1. Whoah - what happened to the design of your blog?! BTW I love this post. Do you? No no no.

  2. I have been playing with the Design tool as a work avoidance tactic. What do you think? I even have my own FDMTG email now.

  3. I think you're absolutely right with why they use 'no' so much, mine were all the same! All they seemed to hear from me was that word.

  4. Sharon - Hurrah, it worked. I think you have cracked it. Look forward to lots more comments now.

  5. I was just like you, I was never getting married and certainly NEVER having children! I preferred horses and dogs. It was my sister who took peoples' babies for 'walks' in their prams and babysat and trained to be a nursery school teacher. How come I've ended up with four children? I'd had nothing to do with them till I had my own, it was a steep learning curve!

  6. It's probably because your own children are so much nicer.