Last Sunday afternoon we had a work friend of Nick’s over, Sallie, and her 1 year old daughter Ruby. Ruby is, incidentally, only the third bottom shuffler I’ve known, including Alice. (And that’s a story in itself.) Halfway through their visit Jessica dragged out her rocking horse, clambered on and started rocking energetically, singing ‘See Saw Margery Daw’ over and over again. Or the way she pronounces it, ‘Hee Haw Mar-ee Daw’. This prolonged performance gave Sallie great amusement and she decided that Jessica had clearly devised her own version of English loosely based on the language that the rest of us use.
I have worked out that there are basically 3 categories to her vocabulary as follows:
1. Words where she makes the sound rather than saying the word, as in the above example. Also, ‘Ayie’ for ‘Alice’ and ‘hak oo’ for ‘thank you’.
2. Words she has modified, possibly to make them easier to say. Such as ‘Peepubbies’ for ‘Teletubbies‘ (my personal favourite), ‘bear-bear’ for ‘teddy bear’, ‘diddy’ for ‘doggy’ and ‘doddy’ for ‘dummy’. Although I’m not sure about that last one, I think she was running out of ideas.
3. Words where she actually says the proper word. These are few and far between, mainly ‘mummy’, ‘daddy’, ‘bye’ and, bizarrely, ‘sorry’. I feel a bit bad about this one, as we’ve obviously spent way too much time making her apologise for things. Still, it’ll come in handy in later life.