Not just any Saturday

Looking after the little ones whilst their parents spent the day at a TEDx event, 5-year-old Chloe was as usual the last to finish her meal. We asked her if she was always the last to finish her packed lunch at school, and she said yes but explained it as follows. She has packed lunch with two boys who she says don’t stop talking! So why, we asked, was she the last to finish if they were always talking, to which she replied that she was constantly having to answer their questions! Sadly, when the two boys finish their lunch they go off to play leaving Chloe to continue eating, on her own. Does she mind being on her own, we asked, to which she said no because the dinner ladies would talk to her. How wonderful it would be to listen in on these conversations, between the children and with the dinner ladies!

When the parents returned in the evening we were in the middle of watching Mary Poppins Returns. One of the TEDx talks had been on the subject of maths, and as a way of thanking us for looking after the two girls, I was given the speaker’s book – with a personal inscription. What a way to finish a lovely day!

I could eat a horse

Three years and four months old Chloe seems linguistically advanced for her age. The expressions and sentences she sometimes comes out with are a constant surprise. But maybe she’s just demonstrating how rapid the development of language skills is and at how early an age this occurs.

I’ve recently introduced her to the hyperbolic expressions “I could eat a horse” and “It’s raining cats and dogs”. She dismisses them out of hand. “Nooo, don’t be silly, grandad!” she responds. I’ve explained when one uses them (“I’m really, really hungry” and “It’s raining really heavily”) but she persists in taking them at face value and dismissing them as preposterous. I’m going to persevere and I’m confident that before long she’ll use one of the expressions.

What will the plane do when it gets to the end?

Walking with 3-year-old Chloe to the newsagent, I pointed out the rather nice, curved vapour trail in the distant sky.

“What will the plane do when it gets to the end [of the vapour trail]?” she asked, which brought a smile to my face. I think I tried to explain something along the lines of smoke being left behind by the plane.

It was her lucky day because she spotted a 5p coin on the pavement. She then informed me that party bags have coins with wrappers, and if you take off the wrapper there’s chocolate inside.

Oh the joy of conversation with a child.