It's all about questions these days. And answers.
And it's usually the answers that are most interesting. And funny.
Take Dermot junior - I often tell others he wasn't born but hewn from bare rock in a quarry. He's like a force of nature these days; 2 1/2 years old, full of exuberant inquistiveness, with a seam of cuteness, attitude and humour all woven together.
And topped with a stream of talk interspersed with requests for food in his universal toddler lingo. For example:
"Con-flakes?": meaning any flake-shaped breakfast cereal. Or whatever's in your bowl, for that matter.
"Moody?": as in smoothie
"Pasta?": generic term for pasta and rice.
"Pasta pasta": hurry up with my lunch, Dad
"A-pull?": likes his fruit. Most of the time.
"Biccie?": whatever is with my tea.
"My biccie!": put down your tea Dad and back off!
But the other day, something happened.
When after polishing off his toast (and mine), junior asked me for something else to eat. I couldn't believe it - how could he still be hungry?
So I asked the question.
"Are you hungry?"
And his response?
"No Daddy, I'm Hugh".
Watching how he grows, develops and understands the food around him is really interesting. Yes, there are tantrums, tiffs and food fussyness (more of that in a future post) but that's just him pushing the boundaries of his little world. And ours too.
And he enjoys being around us in the kitchen because like so many people, that's the heartbeat of our house.
(and it's got a slippy floor too which is great for sliding toy cars across and under the fridge.)
Asking questions and getting answers is a big part of what we do in work, because it gives us a greater understanding of what consumers like (and dislike), what food matters are important to them, and how we can help. Whether it's my own little focus group at home, or big omnibus surveys across the island, successful communications involves lots and lots of listening.
And if I'm asked a question I don't know the answer to, I'll be sure to ask someone who does.
Because whether you're 2 1/2, 21 or 62, discovering something new is always a question worth asking.
Now where's that car gone under the fridge?
All the best,