Reflections on Ramona: 14 months

Looking back at the 13 month mark, I’m astonished that there’s so much more to note in such a short space of time. People wonder why toddlers have tantrums, but seriously: can you imagine learning so many things in such a small space of time and not getting a bit cranky?

Leaving aside the leaps in physical co-ordination that are happening, it’s language that’s really astonishing me. I suppose because it’s so obvious all the time, and because it’s allowing me an inlet into communication with my daughter. Because one of the toughest things about being a parent is trying to understand and make yourself understood when there is no common language – except for body language, which is so easy to misread – between you.

So, to mark 14 months, as we dart inexorably on to 15 since I’ve been so late with this update, I give you Whiffle’s Baby Glossary. Or: things wot my kid says.

  • Family: Mummy, Daddy, Yiayia (Greek: grandma), Pappou (Greek: grandpa), Ouma (Afrikaans, grandma), ‘Gamps’ (Gramps), ‘Cabbi’ (Casper, the cat), ‘Aki’ (Alex, the cousin). Occasionally she attempts ‘Ramona’, and gets ‘amona’, which is not bad going for someone with six teeth.
  • Animals: ‘Giger’ (tiger), ‘Ca’ (cat), ‘a pi’ (pig). For ‘dog’ she just strokes the picture and goes ‘aaaahhhh’, and all black cats are ‘Cabbi’.
  • Objects and responses to questions: ‘App-ul’ (apple – tomatoes are also apples, apparently), tea, ‘tthhh’ (teeth), ‘appy’ (nappy, said when a change is needed), ca-ca / poo (likewise), ‘out’ (in response to ‘where did you go?’ or ‘in and…?’), ‘up / cup’ (cup), ‘a boo’ (book), ‘up-ah’ (to be picked up – my mother taught her that!), ‘tah’ (star), ‘baw’ (ball), ‘beh’ (bear).

I’m sure I’ve forgotten more than a few, and those are just the regular ones; often she’ll say something once and then put it away for a few days to be hesitantly brought out again later. I guess being around grandparents speaking two different languages and the varied, positive environment at nursery plus having two parents that don’t shut up is having something of an effect on her.

Incidentally, as I’ve said before, I’m really writing this for my own sake, so I can look back at how she was when she was a tot. I’m not tracking her development, or comparing her to others, and for all I know she should have done all this stuff months ago. I don’t know, I don’t care. I’m just a parent, who, just like most other parents, is fascinated by their own child.

Here’s to every single one of us just happening to have the coolest, smartest kid in the world.


  1. Alex, I think it’s brilliant to write these things down. I wish I’d been more diligent with my boys. Sometimes we run across things and it just floors me how my young’un has grown – how little he was. Because it seems so long ago and forgotten and that’s kind of sad but then it’s amazing that he’s so amazing.


    1. Thank you! I think it’s just that I can recall so many times when I asked my mum “when did I do this?” “when did I do that?” and with the best will in the world and two children, she just can’t remember! She remembers first words and some other firsts, but not the battery of little things that came in between because how could you? There’s just so much of it. This snapshot isn’t even a fraction of it all, but I’d like to have something to give her, and it’s selfishly a way of keeping my hand in with blogging as well.

      Hope you and the crew are very well! x


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