"Small Talk" drabbles by Neville Hunt

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Small Talk #51

We were all in the car going to the animal farm. Baba was sitting next to my seat in the back, Granny was driving, with Mummy upfront too.

Baba clearly doesn't understand that car journeys are serious business. I don't get out so much, so when I do, I need my space, to cogitate, whatever that is.

But Baba thought otherwise. "Geddoff, Baba, this is serious stuff. No time for hand holding or giving raspberries! I need to concentrate on looking, listening and learning. Granny! When we stop can you give Baba one of your scary looks? He's annoying me!"

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A step up

Small Talk #50

Florriebundle and little brother are at Baba's today, going up and down the garden steps.

It's the top steps I really want to climb. The scary humungous ones at the top of the garden. The ones the boy goes up and disappears behind the bushes into the den.

Florriebundle keeps dragging me away. She always seems to want to carry me. Geddoff! I need my space. My space is up the steps.

What's this, now they're making chocolate brownies, eating them thinking I wasn't looking.... I'm always looking! Just one crumb left, but what a yum crummmmmmmm!

I want MORE!

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Small Talk #49

I so want to be grown up Ike Granny and Baba. I know I'm only 18 months and still quite little, but I've been practising how to be really grown up.

Every time I do something the Ancients think a bit strenuous, I go "humph!" It seems to be what you do when you're grown up. Every step I go down, it's "humph!". I don't know why they laugh at me... they do it!

"He's copying us! I hear myself going humph!" said Granny.

"Wait until he gets sciatica then!" said Baba grumpily, as he stepped down with a "humph!"

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Swallowed evidence

Small Talk #48

We had an Easter egg hunt in the Ancients' garden. Granny had bought us all cute egg baskets. Me and Jas had to be helped by the Olds, but the other three roamed alone. When we pooled the eggs for equal distribution (Granny's always fair), there was one missing, Baba got very anxious because he told everyone that rats love chocolate, but he didn't love rats.

Granny said maybe she'd miscounted, so produced one more. But I think there was chocolate on big boy cousin's mouth. Sneaky monkey!

Silly Baba's still out in the rain searching for the last one!

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Dried pasta wars on Easter Sunday

Small Talk #47

We gathered at the Ancients. Five cousins plus mums and dads. And the Prehistoric was there moaning and groaning, so 14 for lunch. Me and little Jas started centre of attention, being the littlest. However, Florriebundle and Mollycule did the Dinosaur Rap, written by Florriebundle. (I think she might take after Baba!). Everyone clapped.

Meanwhile, me and Jas played pasta wars, each with tubs of dried pasta. The game was to see how much of each other's pasta we could steal. I started as favourite, but little Jas, he's a fast mover.... absolutely fearless....

...but I won the yelling competition!

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A week and four fifths

Small Talk #46

They collected three of them as they circumnavigated the M25. Cousins reunion at Granny and Baba's - lucky people desperate for a full-on experience that would get even fuller-on. With three of my cousins staying at the Ancients' they said it was bedlam... lots of noise and a fair bit of falling out. Granny of course kept order while Baba kept getting taken advantage of.

I went round to play one day. I'm much younger but they all followed me around. I went again today... I'm not sure the cousins could keep up with me let alone the Ancients!

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Small Talk #45

I'm getting the hang of this talking lark. The Olds and Ancients have started to realise I understand a lot of what they say, especially when it's about me! But look, I'm talking too!

"He's talking now," Mummy says to Granny, "but who knows what? It's gibberish! Haha!"

Now look here you lot. I can understand you, but you can't understand my gibberish. Despite that, you still think you're pretty smart. Taking the piss again!

"He's definitely talking... nineteen to the dozen now."

You bet I am. And I must be really clever because I've never even been to Gibber!

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Turning point

Small Talk #44

Mummy always wants to change my nappy and get me dressed when I'm busy! But now I'm bigger, a guy's gotta do what a guy's gotta do! I need to play with my stuff when I want to.

Today, Mummy, sitting on her chair, called me to come to her to be changed. Changed? Why? I was happy the way I was. Trouble was I had to go past her to get to my stuff. She might grab me on the way.

My brilliant new strategy.... as I passed, I turned my back to her so she wouldn't see me!

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Bum deal

Small Talk #43

I've heard them. They think just because I can't talk yet I can't understand them. Maybe I don't know what 'waddle' means yet, but I know they're laughing at me. That's not nice .... or funny.

"He doesn't so much as walk, he waddles! Haha!" But they were so pleased when I started walking... eventually, they said.

This week they're taking the piss out of my bottom.

"Hey mum, does my bum look big in this?" says Baba, pretending to be me.

You bet, Baba! So would yours if you had to wear a bloody nappy! (that's the real me!)

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Doodoo don't

Small Talk #42

Daddy says Misty's been a very naughty girl. She's been pooing in the dining room, pooing in their bedroom, and worst of all, pooing in our lovely new lounge. The only place she hasn't pooed is in her litter tray, Baba said.

Daddy says Misty's on borrowed time, whatever that is.

I like Misty, even if she did scratch my eye and hurt my arm. She's fluffy, cuddly but smelly. Why can't she have a nappy like me for her poo?

Her next offence and Daddy says Misty's going to get a shiny new home. Nice!

Mummy, what's a stewpot?

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Grand old duchess of York stone

Small Talk #41

Granny and Baba have lots of steps in their garden. I like steps.

I've got smart new shoes. Now I can walk I like steps even more because I can go up and down them. I'm still rather little so I can't do it on my own. Granny has to hold my hand. Down the steps, up the steps, down the steps, up the steps, up different steps, down again, up again, down again.

Granny says my smart new shoes will be worn out soon. I think she means that Granny will be worn out!

Come on Granny, move it!

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Birthday treat

Small Talk #40

Mummy was a baby? Never! She's always been a grown up because she looks after me. (Although I always thought Baba was grown up but Granny says he never has...)

It was Mummy's birthday and lots of presents for me to open for her.

She wanted a special birthday treat. I thought 'treat' meant chocolates and champagne, but no... she wanted our lounge walls painted and everything put straight. What a funny treat! That didn't seem much at all.

It did seem that Daddy, Granny and Baba couldn't enjoy the sun with me and Mummy. They had work to do.

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Mummies united

Small Talk #39

Mother's Day. My house was full of mothers... well three actually. My Mummy of course and Granny and Granita - they were drinking champagne... but all I got was water. They earbashed the daddies with how tough it was being mothers... well if it's going to be that tough, I'll stick with being a boy.

Boys do great things, like climbing, opening doors, forcing Olds and Ancients to walk up and down stairs with them. Granny says older boys can be very naughty (she means Baba). Whatever.... boys are great!

But there's nothing like a Mummy to put you to bed.

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Could he fix it?

Small Talk #38

I got a shock the other day when the Ancients arrived. It was Granny and Baba the Builder. He was wearing a hard hat just like my Bob the Builder hat. I think Baba was taking the piss! I almost cried.

He didn't need a hard hat for stripping wallpaper from the lounge walls... what was he going to do, pull the ceiling down, fall off the steps, head-butt the walls? (Maybe, he was worried about wobbling, because he is very old!)

Whatever!.. I can take a joke, but Granny got him back, with that scary look of hers!

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Home help

Small Talk #37

There's a conspiracy round my house. Daddy and Baba bundled us off with Granny to buy some shoes... then when we got back it was straight to bed for my afternoon nap! Hang on guys, I like to roam a bit first!

When I came down, the lounge - my playroom! - was changed. It was messy and different, and where were my toys? I cried.

Daddy had a gadget to remove wallpaper. I could've collected up all the gluey bits of wallpaper. Great fun!

Now I'm really grown up, I'd like to help.

Can I help painting the wall, Daddy? Pleeeease!

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Small Talk #36

The Ancients went to see my cousin Jas at the weekend. I hope they told him I've caught up with him because I've started to walk too. Jas is a bit of a smartnappy, because he's been walking for months... and he's two months younger than me!

Jas is quite short, which probably helps his balance. And now he has a real beer belly that keeps his weight distribution low. He looks completely different to me. Apart from that, the age difference, his size, his beer belly and different parents, we could be twins!

Because apparently, we're both little monkeys.

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Small Talk #35

Every Wednesday morning - baby singing at the pub. Mummy and Daddy are obviously getting me ready for my future career. I need the musical education so I can be a brilliant drummer or guitarist like Daddy or sing beautifully like Mummy. I need to survive the beery atmosphere so I can resist future temptations to down too many pints than's good for a classy musician.

When I say baby singing, I really mean mummies singing. Us babies just look, or sit, or stand, or run.

(The mummies think we like their singing. We haven't the heart to tell them otherwise!)

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Small Talk #34

OK, so now I can walk. I'm not so happy with Daddy calling me a zomboy for staggering round with my arms in the air! I can't speak yet, but I understand what you're saying nonetheless (I wonder where a word like that came from for a little chap like me to think?).

Well let me tell you Daddy... I know you're taking the piss out of me - a whole nappyful, no less! I need my arms in the air when I walk for a bit of balance and a lot of showing off. Hands up who thinks that's reasonable!

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Small Talk #33

My Mummy is a teacher. She reads to me a lot... so I'll be literate, she says. I wish I could talk because I would tell her how much I like hearing the stories and looking at the pictures. It's my treat after bathtime, before she puts me to bed. Not so keen on bed, but the stories are an incentive, says Baba.

She's taught me to read already... and I'm still less than fourteen months old. I love books; I've got lots of them. I need them in bed with me because I can even read in the dark.

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Cheery thought

Small Talk #32

Baba came round today to my new place. He came as I was finishing my dinner. He'd sneaked away from Granny with bottles of beer and gin. He's a bad boy! A terrible example to me.

He'd come round to help Mummy get me upstairs and into the bath, because Daddy was out playing football.

We were in my new kitchen, where I prefer to dine. Baba poured Mummy a GandT and cracked open his beer. I wanted some too! I finally settled for just water.

We clinked glasses and cup. I couldn't say "cheers" yet, but I thought it.