|AT the start of 2015, Fran had the smart idea of writing down funny things Toby said and putting them in a jar. Over Christmas, with family all present, we opened it up. What follows is a small selection of the wit, wisdom and quite often downright confusion of our wonderfully amusing, dinosaur-obsessed, nature-exploring four-year-old…
The time Toby gave a cute role play game a subversive twist…
Toby: I’m a doctor. I’ll look after your owie foot, Daddy.
Dave: Thanks, Doctor.
Toby: But I’m only pretending to be a doctor. I’m actually a baby velociraptor.
When he looked into the future…
T: One day, when I’m bones, then maybe a paleontologist will dig ME up.
When dinosaurs were all he thought about…
(Driving past a pub)
Fran: I find that pub quite… what’s the word? Begins with P.
T (chipping in from back seat): Parasaurolophus?
When words are confusing…
T: Mumma, you know there’s two-gether and there’s four-ever? What’s in between?
When he finally told us something about what goes on at school…
D: Tell me about Adrian. What do you like playing with him?
T: Star Warts.
D: Er, don’t you mean Star Wars?
T: No, no. Star Warts.
When he suspected gender politics were at play…
T: Florence was Star of the Day. I think it’s because she’s a girl.
But he is a feminist really…
T: Some of my cuddlies are male. But the super-cool ones are female.
When he bigged me up…
(Watching Monsters Versus Aliens)
General W.R. Monger: And this is Dr Cockroach. He has the most brilliant mind in all the Universe.
T (shouting at the TV): No he doesn’t! My Dadda has!
But he’s not averse to telling it to me straight…
(Tucking Toby in on the night Fran left for two weeks in Zambia)
T: Remember, Daddy, I’m in charge.
D: Have you missed Dadda, Tobs?
T: Not really much.
(After waking up Fran in the spare room)
F: How did you know I was in here?
T: That’s where you always are when Dadda’s annoying.
(Playing the geography card game Mapominoes)
D: If I were you Tobs, I’d put Slovakia there.
T: If you were me, you’d put Slovakia there. But if I was I, I’d put Germany here!
(places Germany card with a flourish)
And I’m not the only one who gets it…
T: I can’t sleep. Something is keeping me awake.
F: Oh bubs, what’s keeping you awake?
T: You are, Mumma. Can I PLEASE have some quiet?
T: Have you been making stuff again?
T: But you’ve got glitter in your hair.
F: Have I?
T (pulling one grey hair): Yes, this long bit at the front.
F: What’s the matter, Toby?
T: I’m just making another puppet but there’s a problem. I’m trying to do Grandad Colin but I’ve drawn on some hair and Grandad Colin hasn’t got any.
When he had a visitation in his sleep…
T: Daddy, I need to tell you about my dream because God came to visit me three times.
D: Er, what?!
T: He was very friendly to me.
D: Er, what?!
T: And he didn’t want to eat me. But he did try to eat Buzz and Woody.
D: Sorry, Tobs, WHO was in your dream?
T: Scud, the dog from Toy Story.
What he really thinks of religion…
F: What’s your idea of Heaven, Tobs? Who would be there?
T: Dead people?
When his attempts at magic fell flat…
T: This isn’t a real wand. Look. Abracadabra, into a koala.
(points stick at Tiffin the dog, who does not turn into a koala)
T (shrugging): See?
When he invented an eight-day week…
T: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Catday, Sunday…
D: Woah! Hold up – what’s Catday?
T (impatiently): Catday! When all the cats lay their eggs and then the children eat them and then… go to bed.
D: But cats are mammals. They don’t lay eggs.
T: The mummy ones do!
When he was very helpful…
F: Argh! Mumma’s so messy!
T: Did you know, there’s an advert on television that has something you can put in the washing machine that makes things all better and it comes out clean again?
He’s always immersing himself in nature…
(Driving through the countryside)T: Tick… tick… tick, tick, tick, tick, tick-tick, tick-tick-tickticktickticktick…
D: What are you doing, Tobs?
T: I’m ticking off all the things that are green.
D: I was pretending to be a hyena, sneaking up on you to see what scraps you’d left. And Mumma was a vulture, swooping in. I think you were a lion, eating your fill.
T (very confused): Who’s Phil?!
T: When I go to the zoo with a lion and an elephant, I think I will have to wear my ear defenders.
(Playing I-Spy in the car)
D: I spy with my little eye, something beginning with H.
T: Horseshoe worm?
(First-ever go at ‘Guess which animal I am’)
D: Do you have four legs?
D: Are you a mammal?
D: Do you have fur?
T: Um, no.
D: Are you extinct?
T: Um… Mummy, are pigs extinct?
D: And do you know how we produce carbon dioxide? It’s something we do all day, every day.
D: No – it’s something you do even when you’re asleep.
T: Spinning around?
(Another game of Guess Which Animal I Am)
F: Do you have two legs?
F: Are you a herbivore?
(Lots more questions)
T: I’ll give you a clue… I have a really long neck. And I like leaves.
F: Toby, are you a giraffe?
F: But you said you had two legs.
T: I do have two legs. And another two.
When he wondered about war…
D: Would you like to wear a poppy, Tobs?
T (sadly): I would… but I can’t remember anyone who’s died.
(Watching a trailer on TV)
T: Is that man in the middle the man who doesn’t like anybody?
D: Er, what do you mean?
T: When there was all the fighting.
D: You mean, ‘Is that Hitler?’
D: No, Tobs. It’s Alan Sugar.
When he scared himself to death…
(After half an hour quiet in bed, there’s a panic-stricken yell)
T: Mumma! MUMMA!
F (hurtling upstairs, fearing an intruder in his room): Yes, Toby?
T (sitting on edge of his bed): Mumma… I can’t feel my pulse.
And there were a few tantrums, too…
(Going in to Sainsbury’s)
T: Are we going to buy some woggles?
T: Woggles, Mumma. Are we buying woggles?
T: Woggles, Mumma. Everyone has woggles!
T: I would like some green and yellow ones.
F: What do you do with woggles?
T: EVERYBODY HAS THEM!
F: Toby, I just don’t know what you mean. I’m sorry.
T: WOGGLES, Mumma! WOGGLES! I want some WOGGLES!
F: Toby… darling…
T: WOGGLES, MUMMA! WOGGLES ON YOUR FACE! EVERYONE AT SWIMMING HAS THEM.
(In Stortford on carnival day, Toby spots lots of kids with weird toys – essentially floating snakes on sticks)
T: I want one of them.
D: Well, you can’t have one.
T: But I REALLY want one.
D: You’ve just had your birthday. Didn’t you get enough presents then?
T: No. I want more.
D: That’s very ungrateful. You need to realize that you’re really very lucky. Do you know Patience we’re sponsoring in Africa. Do you know what she gets for her birthday? A rock and a stick.
T: But I want a rock and a stick!
He is down with pop culture…
(Listening to Lady Gaga)
T: Why does she want you to poke her face?
And was occasionally rude…
(Very loudly, while using the iPad on a plane)
T: These are called COCKS!
(Cue hurried checking of the iPad, only to see he’s looking at a picture of people playing badminton).
T: What are the rules of rugby? Can you use your hands?
T: Oh good. I like to use my hands when I’m playing with my balls.
And he never shirked big questions…
INT: A gents’ toilet)
T: What’s that Daddy?
T: What’s that, Daddy?
D: Keep walking.
T: But what’s THAT, Daddy?
D: It’s a machine.
T: What kind of machine?
D: It sells things.
T: What does it sell?
D: Never you mind.
T: WHAT DOES IT SELL?
D: Condoms, Toby. Condoms.
T: What are condoms?
D: They’re something you use if you want to avoid awkward questions five years later.
D: It’s up to you what you believe. All I would ask you to do is never stop being inquisitive. Never stop asking questions.
T: OK Daddy.
T: Why are there dogs?
T: You will keep me forever, won’t you?
When he misheard Mumma and had a panic…
(Mumma and Dadda’s bed, 6.40am, after complaining that he had woken up with a sore willy)
F: Toby, do you want me to sort out your willy or do you want to cuddle for a little bit?
T (worried): Cut off a little bit?!