Life as we know it has changed forever. James has learnt the word no.
To be honest, he seems far more competent in his usage of the word "Baa" (a sheep), which gets endlessly repeated for every sheep he sees which, despite living in London, happens quite frequently between books and children's programmes!
Nor will one 'no' suffice. They travel in threes. He says "Noh, noh, noh". And then shakes his finger. Where did he get that from? I don't do it. Dirk doesn't do it. It does feature in the actions of one children's song, "Three little monkeys", but surely I haven't sung that song so tirelessly as to encourage a connection between 'No' and a waging finger!
Nor does he know that "Noh, noh, noh" does not mean yes, for which he sometimes uses it.
"James, do you want dinner?"
"Noh, noh, noh"[read: 'yes please, that's why I'm screaming for the past five minutes']
"James, would you like some banana for dessert?"
"Noh, noh, noh"[read: 'are you kidding? I always have room for banana']
"James, shall we change your nappy now?"
"Noh, noh, noh"[read: 'NO']
"James, would you like a story?"
"Noh, noh, noh"[read: 'naturally! There is never a time I do not want a story']
"James, put down the sewing box"
"Noh, noh, noh"[read: 'No, not a chance, never. This has so many new things I've got to explore it several times today']
And on it goes! The toddler years have begun in earnest. 'No' marks the defining of self, an assertion of what he wants to do and be, and a move towards his own independence. No longer is he a baby who is forced to eat when I feed him, stay where I put him and sleep when I put him down.
Actually, who am I kidding? He has always had his own mind, No just replaces some of the screaming!