It's hard being three. It's exciting too. But generally tricky.
So much new to learn. So much new to experience. Most of it resulting in one or other of your parents telling you experiencing that new sensation in quite that way is wrong.
Learning all those new words. Understanding what they all mean. Understanding too the nuances of language and pronunciation.
Like the word scone.
If you're not Anglo Saxon you may not be aware of what these are. A cross between a cake and a bread roll. A delicacy of the British Isles, particularly of the South West of England. Normally served with jam and clotted cream as an afternoon treat.
The word can be pronounced two ways, dependent upon the vowel sound. The o sounding like the 'o' in 'on'. Or with the o sounding like the 'o' in 'own'.
There's even a helpful little rhyme to highlight the different pronunciations:
I asked the maid in dulcet tone
To order me a buttered scone;
The silly girl has been and gone
And ordered me a buttered scone.
The pronunciation, once an indicator of class and region (the north and working class pronunciation being scone as in 'gone', while the southern and middle class pronunciation being scone as in 'tone'), but now a point of amusement and conversation.
For grown ups.
For three year old girls. Well, it's all very confusing.
Our daughter made scones at play school yesterday. Proudly handing them to me as I arrived to collect her. Standing amongst the gaggle of mothers and play school assistants all debating whether the true Hampshire way of pronouncing the word was the 'tone' or.. well, you get the drift.
"You can't eat them!" Our daughter said protectively.
"No, don't worry, we'll wait until we're home." I replied, protectively guarding the bag for future consumption.
"No, they're not for eating!" Our daughter said more vehemently.
Our daughter has been known to protect food she has made as a trophy. Previously considering eating the cupcake/rice crispy cake/pancake she has made at play school tantamount to desecration, she has adoring kept such items on the kitchen window cill until they end up looking like J's cheese.
I therefore wasn't too concerned.
We escaped to the car.
"These will be nice with some jam and cream," I told our daughter as we drove out of the car park.
She looked incredulous.
"You can't eat them!" She repeated. Rolling her eyes and giving me her best 'I have told you this already, are you STUPID?' expression.
"Why not?" I asked. "They look very nice."
"Silly Daddy! They're stones. We don't eat stones." Our daughter guffawed.
The penny dropped. "SCONES, they're scones," I corrected. "Bread cakes we can eat with cream and jam."
"Oh," our daughter replied, looking both unconvinced and confused.
As is so often the case, there is a epilogue to this story.
Returning home our daughter wanted to play her current, number one favourite game.
Called 'Ice cream shop' it involves me queuing outside our kitchen's external door. The door is a barn design, so while the bottom half remains locked the top half swings open.
Our daughter stands inside, on a stool, selling me an ice cream. Or not.
As usual I am told to wait behind a line of imaginary friends for my turn and, when I finally reach the front of the 'queue' I ask for a variety of flavours. At each request our daughter descends from the stool, retreats into the kitchen, bashes about in the cutlery drawer and returns to tell me she has sold out.
"What can I have then?" my list of flavours being exhausted.
Our little girl then 'goes to check,' returning to tell me I can have 'bogey flavour' or 'poo' or some other indescribably awful treat, before collapsing into giggles.
Yesterday we went through our normal routine. "What can I have then?" I asked.
Our daughter disappeared.
Returning she handed me a few small pieces of gravel. "What are these?" I asked.
"Stones Daddy," she said exasperated. "You said we can eat them?"