As regular readers of this blog will attest, Piglet is a man of few words.
The words are:
“BBBBBBB-AAAALLL.” This means “ball,” and is proclaimed whenever a ball comes into view. Even a rugby ball, which I maintain is proof of Piglet’s budding intellectualism, as rugby balls aren’t even real balls. They aren’t even circular, so it is impressive that Piglet is able to recognise them as belonging in the same category as ordinary, round-shaped balls.
“Brrruu.” This is a generic term for food, usually food that is small and round, such as blueberries. Piglet loves things that are small and round. He is also a big fan of a pea, although he can’t say that yet.
“A-DA!” This is a word that Piglet has been saying since around the age of eight months. And I still have no idea what it actually means. Various theories have been mooted. He is obsessed with someone called Adam; he is already bemoaning his lack of a father by asking if every person who passes by is his “da;” he is saying “oh dear” a lot, probably as an expression of frustration that he was born to me and not to Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie as he doubtless would have preferred. However, none of these theories have yet scratched the surface of the sheer range of emotions, adjectives, nouns and verbs of what “A-DA” appears to mean.
Take today, for example. I picked Piglet up from nursery at 5pm, and when I arrived he was off having his nappy changed (I wonder if they sing that old chestnut, What You Got For Mummy in that Nap-Nap, at nursery? Or do they prefer the dulcet tones of Mr Nap-Nap, Bring Me a Poo, with musical arrangement by yours truly, to the theme of Mr Sandman, as performed in Grease 2 by boys in matching jackets which get stolen by the T-Birds. What do you mean I’m the only person in the universe insane enough to sing songs about poo?)
When Piglet returned from the changing station, he was naked apart from his nappy (although for some reason, they weren’t singing my other favourite tune, I’m a Naked Baby and I Like to Run Around) as he had a bit of a temperature.
And as he was carried aloft back into the baby room in all his naked glory, a great chorus of “A-DA!” went up, from all the assorted babies and adults greeting him.
“A-DA!” came Piglet’s commanding reply.
“A-DA!” was how he used to greet the childminder every morning.
“A-DA!” was what he said repeatedly on the bus on the way home from nursery, whilst pointing at indeterminate passing objects out of the window.
“A-DA!” was what he yelled angrily, through his sobs, from the depths of his too-small car seat as I tried desperately to placate him with small, round pieces of brrruu the last time my brother gave us a lift back from London.
“A-DA!” is his way of acknowledging my mother when I put him into her bed each morning as I go to work.
“A-DA!” is hello. It is goodbye. It is everything in between. It’s a dog chasing a stick in the distance. It’s a squirrel climbing a tree. It’s a relative stopping by to say hello. It’s anger. It’s reproach. It’s “when the parents were being given out, why did I get you and not Brad and Angelina?” It’s “I bet they wouldn’t tie me into this ridiculous newborn-sized car seat at the age of FOURTEEN MONTHS and ANYWAY, GIVE ME SOME BRRUU.”
It’s the catch-all term for The World According to Piglet, and there’s a part of me that will be sad when he no longer has a use for this most useful and all-encompassing of words.