If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you may recall that I work in a library (although, as of very recently, I switched branches in the city, transferring from the one that I worked at for nearly eight years). I’m not a librarian or a library assistant so front line customer service isn’t part of my duties, but I still get a chance to talk to some of our patrons…and sometimes I just can’t help smiling at what they have to say. Take this morning, for example: a young mum asked me for books about shapes for her three-year-old girl. We browsed the board book spinners and came up with some great titles, including a really sweet one featuring Snoopy (I’m a total softy for Snoopy and naturally assume everyone else is as well). I thought I had the search wrapped up tidily as the mother flipped quickly through the books, but she turned to me with a sheepish grin on her face. “These are great,” she said, “but my daughter is really interested in octagons right now. She just loves octagons.”
Well, I don’t blame her, really – octagons are very attractive shapes and quite satisfying from a mathematical perspective. And the word is seriously fun to say aloud. But I have yet to see a board book featuring octagons. Actually, if anyone out there is writing board books for a living, please throw some octagons into the next “shape” book you pump out, would you? (I found this rather interesting title at work a few weeks ago, and if it exists, octagons shouldn’t be a complete stretch). I know a certain three-year-old who would be really impressed….
If you have children, what words or concepts most captivated them when they were toddlers? Do you remember any ideas you were fixated with as a child? I can’t recall if I had any obsessions with certain words when I was that age (my Mum might remember!) but I know that even as I got older, I was constantly trying to reinvent the English language – it wasn’t that I mispronounced words (although I occasionally did that, and still do), it was that I was always deliberately making up new words, and renaming things around me. The various cats we had over the years had so many inventive-yet-utterly-ridiculous monikers, it’s no wonder they never came when they were called.
Oh, wait…. 😉