Dot writes: Hugh has got to the stage of trying to tell knock knock jokes. I remember my younger sister doing this (she’s two years younger than me), which makes it one of those moments when the falling away of time gives me vertigo. Small children latch on to the pattern of knock knock jokes ages before they can construct or even really grasp the central pun. At several points today Hugh has undertaken a routine roughly like this: “Knock knock.” “Who’s there?” (Sometimes he says “who’s there” himself, which leads to a bit of a dead end because then he’s waiting for someone else to give him the feed line of his own joke.) “Would you like some cookies?” Then he laughs immoderately. I eventually realised that he must have been taught this joke and that it is precisely tailored to his own name. It ought to go on: “Would you like some cookies who (Hugh)?” “Oh, yes please, I’d love some cookies.” At one point he delivered the last line but not the feed-line.
Another pearl that fell from his lips earlier: he was being rather tragic because we had said there was to be no more television, and I was trying to come up with a list of other things he enjoyed doing. “Do you like…being tickled?” “No.” “Do you like…playing with your train set?” “No.” “Do you like…bouncing on the bed?” “Mummy, it’s a bed, not a trampoline.” I suppose I should be pleased he listens to what we say. At bedtime I asked him if I should sing a lullaby and he said in a long-suffering voice, “OK, Mummy, just one.”
Frank has learned to say “pan.” Every morning, he demands pans to play with. He insists on lids; he also insists on having the right size of spoon – not the big one and not the little one but the medium one, which is also the one I like to cook with. He has been experimenting with new ingredients.