Elfie is nearly 20 months old, and her language is beginning to stream forth. The rate of new words learnt continues to amaze me. Her ears are attuned to everything that is going on – the radio, people speaking on the phone, people chatting in the park, and every conversation between her parents.

And of course you have to extra careful what you say…

Yesterday, I was in the throng of baking a cake – as mentioned before, baking is not my forte. Thinking I had, for once, baked an awesomely perfect banana cake (yes, I said ‘gold dust cake’), I turned it out, and the bloody thing poured out…disaster, once again. So I said – Sh*t, bugger, sh*t I am the world’s worst baker.

That evening, Elfie was trying to put a sweet potato into a paper bag, not sure why, and she said ‘Sh*t, dear oh dear, sh*t.’ It’s naughty, I know. I couldn’t help a little giggle – it was so cute!

Later that evening, she was pushing her little dolly pram around fast and furiously, when she ran into a chair and dolly fell out. ‘Sh*t, oh sh*t’, she said again. Now I am getting worried!

Her other favourite phrases are ‘Sorry!’ ‘Bye-bye!’ and the start of just about any nursery rhyme. She also does an incredible ‘Cocka-dockle-dooooo’, which you have to hear to know how good it is. Her whole face contorts and squeezes with effort, and the sound comes from a place so deep within her you would think she was a cockerel in a past life.

So…between sh*t, sorry, and dear oh dear, I think I prefer dear oh dear, and I think I will start being more careful with my own words. Ironically, we don’t swear much at all, hardly ever. But obviously those keen little ears are listening out for anything that is a little bit interesting.