Category Archives: Daisy

Language Acquisition

I’m sat at home as I type this with a little girl cuddling on my lap. She’ll be two in July. She is mine, I hasten to add… I didn’t kidnap her for the sake of a blog post!

We’re still waiting for her to talk which is the point of this post. She relies almost entirely on /m/ sounds. Now, in fairness, there is a wide range of expression in her /m/s and we can tell the difference between an angry /m/ and a happy /m/ and a naughty /m/ and an asking /m/. Mmmmmm and Mmm? and MMMMmmmmm and mmmmmmmmmm… And she can laugh both spontaneously and with somewhat dramatised /ha/ /ha/ /ha/ sounds. 

She is capable of producing other sounds: we’ve had /d/ sounds which seems lmore like a Simpsons’ “D’oh” rather than anything meaning “dad” but we have had /æ/ sounds, generally in the context of singing Row Row Row Your Boat.  Or, as here, in reenacting scenes from Hammer Horror’s Dracula. 

I have had arguments with both my other daughter and health visitor as to whether these noises constitute ‘words’ or ‘speaking’. Personally, without any sense of consistent semantics, I think they are just noises, experimentation and play. 

Things I’ve learned from Tangled

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This is my little girl’s favourite film… alongside Frozen. And, having watched it frequently this holiday already – often with her in my arms at 5 am

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there are a few things I have learned which, I believe, will be of use in future life…

1) The best parents are silent, even in the face of disease, pain, joy and the loss of their child;

2) Goatees work. Ladies love them!

3) In the event of being evil enough to steal a child, lie about her birthday;

4) Never trust a chameleon;

5) Hair with magical growth and glowing and healing properties is restricted to the head;

6) Magical hair changes length according to the needs of the plot;

7) Using the nickname ‘flower’ for someone named after lettuce leaves is both creepy and makes perfect sense;

8) Floating lanterns solve everything;

9) It is perfectly reasonable that a hook can play the piano;

10) ‘Unarrested’ is a word. Really.

11) Anthropomorphic horse can fight with swords;

12) Changing your name from Flynn to Eugene completely absolves you of a lifetime of thievery;

13) Having suffered one hair-based magical adventure, it is perfectly reasonable to hide and refuse to help when you stumble into a second one. Not selfish at all. It’s fine to let you friend Elsa be driven from her home because of magic.

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14) Mirrors are extraordinarily good at cutting hair;

and finally,

15) Having a male narrator is all you need to mark a film as ‘boy friendly’ and most definitely not a Disney Princess film. Even if Rapunzel was deliberately made a Princess for the film. Which was made by Disney.

2013 on the blog

So these are my stats from the last year’s worth of blogging!

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A good, decent upwards trend here which is great.

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Not a wholly unexpected geographic spread of readership at the top: English speaking and Western. But I am impressed that there are significant (for me anyway, probably not for the rest of you blogosphere illuminati) in Iraq and Saudi Arabia!

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Some interesting gaps in the overall map though: it’s no surprise that China’s still a blank white gap with its internet paranoia but I want to get more Nigerian views. I adore Nigerian Literature, history and culture so I’d like more followers there. And Greenland. Why can I got get into Greenland?!

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And my most popular blog post is about an arcane and archaic grammatical structure.

I am going to change my blog pattern for 2014, I think: currently I have a number of different ones which I have tried to keep focused on individual themes but I’m planning on bring most of those into this blog. The Book Lovers’ Sanctuary will remain just for book reviews; and the Book Lover’s Kitchen just for recipes – mainly because I’d forget things otherwise. The main difference will really be the addition of my incessant gushing and cooing over 2013’s star arrival, my daughter.

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