"Why can't children say all the words?" Jamie wanted to know.

"What was that, sweetheart?" I was pretty sure I'd heard him, but he was chewing his dinner and I wanted to check.

"Why…" Jamie's brown eyes locked on mine, his face serious with concentration as he tried to figure out how to phrase the idea he was trying to get across.  "Why are there words that children can't say till they're eighteen?"

"You mean like on the telly last night?" A word in a speech shown on the news had been bleeped out, and Jamie had wanted to know why; I explained to him that there were some words that children weren't allowed to say until they were eighteen, and so they wouldn't put them on the telly in case children heard. "Well, there are some words that people think are not very nice, that might offend people – that means upset them – and it's harder for children to know when the times are that you shouldn't say those words, or to remember when not to say them, so it's better for children just not to say them at all until they're old enough to know more about when they can say them and when they can't."

Jamie seemed to accept that.  I'm sure we'll have further interesting conversations on the subject over the next few years.


Katie continues to approach life with unabated enthusiasm.  This evening, running up and down the hall before her bath, found a red-painted shell lying around.  I can't even remember where we got it from – it's one of those little trinkets that you collect like fluff on the journey through life.  Katie reacted to it with a passion on the level of that girl from Twilight going on about that boring vampire hero Whatsisname.  "I love my shell so much!  I'm going to take it to my nursery and show my teacher!  I'm going to take it to Christine's and nursery and everywhere I go!  And if I go somewhere else I will take it with me there!  Because I love it so much!!"  Who knows – she may even remember its existence by tomorrow.

Later on, we read The Very Hungry Caterpillar, one of Katie's many favourites.

"In the light of the moon," I started out, "a little egg…"

Katie flopped onto the open pages, curled up into a ball.

"Are you being a little egg?" I inquired.

"A little egg on the moon!" she told me.

We moved on to the caterpillar, which Katie illustrated with a wiggly finger that she poked into each of the holes in turn and which, on the last page, duly hatched out into a butterfly made with linked hands flapping.  (She used to flap her arms when we got to that page – the caterpillar/butterfly hand is a new development these past couple of days.)  Then the caterpillar/butterfly was still hungry, so he had to keep on eating his way through the different items in the book while I took Jamie to use the toilet and get into his pyjamas, and then go for a crawl around the room (the caterpillar, not Jamie).  Eric Carle seems a positive amateur by comparison.

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