I Spy, with my Beady Eye

I know nothing. About anything.

Harry was rampaging noisily around the bed this morning – having coughed and yelled and generally cried his way into spending another night with Mummy – when he suddenly sat back on his heels and took a good look at my bedside table. 

The surface is embarrassingly cluttered with mugs, cough mixture, earrings, coke cans, aging peesticks (you can feel my hot blush of shame all the way from here, yes?) Calpol bottles, dosing syringes, books of many assorted dimensions, nail polish… etc… and I was fully expecting him to grab the first breakable object that came to hand and smash it happily into something even more fragile.

Instead, he let out his – now signature – Mmmuuuurrrrrrmmm! Twice.

‘Bugger’, I thought. ‘He’s started doing it randomly for attention now. What a shame!’

I didn’t react.

Again, insistently: Mmmmmuuuurrrrmmmm!

A fat little fist reached straight towards a tiny ornament of mine which had been shoved unceremoniously into an unobtrusive corner; so long ago, that I had totally forgotten its existence.


OH! THAT cow! Yes! Muuuuurrrrrrrmmmmm! Clever Harry!

And here was me saying he could only recognise photos. How on earth he managed to correctly discern the essential bovinity of this little item, I have no idea. We have no Highlands. We have no ringed bull. None of our cattle (except the one who somehow managed to evade de-horning and sports titchy prongs) have horns. I’m damn sure none of them are that shaggy, or have such appealingly short-arsed conformation. I’m mystified.

As he’s become so clever, lets see how he goes identifying this…


About 200 of the buggers all lambed at once in the night, so there’s plenty of comparison opportunities!


11 Responses

  1. Isn’t that just like a man? Cricket….Cricket……Light Bulb! I completely understand now mummy! I’m just contrary because of the Y-chromosome. Don’t worry! I’m really brilliant, I just didn’t feel like showing you till now!

  2. I love the way that country kids say Muuuuurrrrrrrmmmmm properly. Whilst the townies would just say, moo.

  3. Go, Harry 🙂


  4. I’m so happy for you guys!

    I seem to constantly underestimate my son. And one thing language definitely helps with is showing me up in that department. Every time his language improves, there is something else I realize he knows that I didn’t know he knew.

    Over and over again, it is a revelation to realize just how much is going on in that little noggin. I look forward to hearing about your many revelations to come, too!

  5. The surprises are fabulous. The cow is…well mysterious. Harry must have recognised its essential essence. I think the artist should be very proud.

  6. Clearly Harry is a man in touch with the Jungian oversoul, and he recognized the essential cowness of that cow. (Is it really a cow? Looks more like Hagar the Horrible.)

  7. I often wondered this with P. So many childrens’ books are centred around animals, yet their representation is always different. How can they take quite abstract interpretation of an animal, and make sense of it logically? Quite amazing really.

    Clever Harry!

  8. Wellll…. he may be in the “I know a name for something similar so I’ll just use that since I can’t remember the right one” state that we have all been in with a foreign language.

    (Technically known as “overextension”)

  9. (oh, and infant categorisation is a BIG debate among development researchers so you are not the only one to wonder, Pru!)

  10. Maybe what he has done is made that connection that language is interactive, as you have noted, and that the two of you are communicating about three dimensional objects. Perhaps having seen cows in the field and this little guy on the nightstand he made that connection. My guess is that some great big switch has been throw and there will be no stopping him.
    I am so relieved for you. I know that you have been very worried.

  11. I am so impressed I don’t know what to say. Except, wait, muuuurrrrrmmmmmmm.

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