It appears, that at some point over the last....erm.... some period of time, The Littl'un has learned to talk. Ish. She is definitely saying some things that sound like proper words, and she seems to even mean those words. I have no idea when this happened. Poor little Littl'un. It seems that, as my second child, she has to be practically debating for Oxford before it occurs to me that something is different. With first children, at the first hint of a word, you excitedly spread the word of your offspring's genius - "She said Mama! She's talking!!!" before realising that she will say "Mama" at you, her father, the checkout operator at Sainsbury's, a sheep, and a crisp packet, and that you have perhaps jumped the gun. But second time around, having got used to holding fully comprehensible, if often frustrating and/or surreal, conversations with a child, I don't seem to have paid much attention to the early burbles.
So now we have some actual semi-words. Admittedly, they are not the most useful of words. She cannot yet, for example, tell me what she is looking for when she tries to stick her head down the toilet, or why exactly she felt that 2am this morning was the perfect time to get her scream on. But she can say "bear" and "ball" and "moo" and "quack" and "baa" and "hiya!" and "bye" (ish, this is still mostly "aye". Maybe that is what she means. Being a proper Geordie and that) and "ta" and "ba-a" (banana) and "ap-ap" (apple) and "gap" (grape. She knows her food) and "keddle" (cuddle) and "pleh" (please) and it's all very cute. I'm very proud. As is she. She claps herself a lot, this girl. No problems with self-esteem there.
I like this talking thing. I especially like the early talking stage. It's great when they have learned enough language to begin to tell you what they want, but not quite enough to argue with everything you say, or announce to everyone that you did a big pump. I shall enjoy it while it lasts.