Thursday, 26 January 2012

the word is love

Someone accused me of being ‘boasty’ the other day because I was writing publicly about my family. And you know what I say? I say, "You bet."

I don’t like to criticise my own parents much because on the whole they did their best. But if there is one thing I think they could have done better, it was to be a bit more boasty.

I hate false modesty about children. Good Lord parents, big them up a bit. No one else will.

So here I go again.

I know I go on about Snooks’ language a lot – his early speech, his experimentation with French and his lovely rhyme and imagery which inspired a friend to write a poem for us, using his first words.

But I had further validation the other day from another friend who remarked, after spending the afternoon with Snooks, on his use of simile and metaphor.

It was, she said, a recognised sign in educational circles, of a gifted and talented child.

I had not noticed until she mentioned it. I am aware of Snooks’ love of rhyme, which we have attributed largely to Dr Seuss – who gave us the fabulous Foo Foo The Snoo nickname (excellent for diffusing tension at sock putting on moments) and many discussions about the workings of a Crunk Car. We have also enjoyed Aliens Love Underpants and Stick Man, though not The Gruffalo. This has been roundly rejected in all forms – film, poem, The Gruffalo’s Child – the lot. Snooks also delighted in having both parents read to him last thing on Christmas Eve A Visit From St Nicholas, which is probably the only time it will ever happen. Next year he may be over all that.

He makes up his own rhymes - “Yoghurt’s yummy in my tummy, but I love toast the most” – and likes mixing up letters in favourite stories, so the train drivers Ducky and Jaff take the Little Ted Rain under the Butt Fridge. This has got us through many a bedtime drama.

And now, since my friend mentioned the metaphor thing, I have been picking those up and demonstrating all the worst characteristics of the boasty-only-child-myopically-obssessed mother, by texting them to her.

However in an attempt to show some kind of restraint and to save Snooks some blushes in the future I shall delight you with just the one which I must record here as it was said, while brushing his teeth, about the girl at his school who captured his heart the day he started there, though I am not sure they have never spoken. During all the tribulations of getting Snooks through the nursery door, the one word which would brighten his face and transport him from his suffering to a higher, happier place, was this girl’s name.

So occasionally we mention her as we are getting ready for school, just to keep the momentum going and to remind him who waits behind that dreaded school gate, and might even, if he asked her nicely, want to play with him.

"Sasha is as pretty as a daisy,” he announced the other day, through the toothpaste, talking mostly, I think, to himself.

She is too. One day he might even tell her.

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