Tuesday, 1 February 2011


“I have this little sister Lola, she is small and very funny.” It's a phrase I say often, on an almost daily basis. Just in case you aren't sure, let me assure you I don't have a sister, named Lola or otherwise, but Charlie does, and Charlie and Lola are huge favourites in our house.

Charlie & Lola, the cute and funny English brother and sister, created by Lauren Child, visit us on a regular basis. Whether it's watching them on TV or reading one of their books, not a day goes by without some form of Lola silliness. The boy loves them so much, that he adds lines from the books into his conversations, and even when he's playing by himself, you'll often hear him quote something from one of the characters. It worries me sometimes how much he remembers from something that seems innocuous at the time, his mind seems to be like a steel trap.

This memory trick and desire to repeat things he's heard has translated into one of the games he likes to play. It's a made up game, as are so many of his at the moment, that involves him saying “Boo!” and then you have to respond, acting suitably scared and saying “aahh”. This all stems from Lola trying, and failing, to scare Charlie.

The boy hasn't quite got the hang of it yet, so there's no hiding 'round corners and jumping out as I walk past, or popping out from a closet or behind a door. The 'boo!” just comes in the middle of a conversation, quite often preceded by “Mummy, Mummy”, pause, “boo!” And if I don't respond properly, by acting scared and saying “aahh” he simply looks at me and says “Mummy, boo!” and I have to make sure to answer quickly, or he'll just keep saying “boo” until I do! It's not a given though even if I do say “aahh!” right away that we don't have to keep playing, with the boy saying “boo!” five, six, or seventeen times in a row.

It's funny the things that he does repeat and pick up on, and it means of course, that I have to very careful what I say around him. My guideline for what I can say around him is very simple. Anything that I wouldn't wanted repeated in a very loud voice in the grocery store can't be said in front of the boy. For now we've been lucky, and nothing has slipped out, but I'm sure it will happen, especially if I keep hearing “Boo!” So if you're out grocery shopping and you hear a loud toddler voice saying something inappropriate, you'll know I forgot to say “aahh!” and responded with something else instead.

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