Monday, March 12th, 2007
Tasty Quote: Recording Dinner Conversations
This week I began recording our family dinner discussions. I bought a digital audio recorder half for work-related reasons and half to capture my daughter’s voice. The beauty of digital recorders is that you can capture hours and hours of audio without swapping out cassette tapes or changing batteries (not very often, anyhow). So, I decided to set the recorder in the middle of the dinner table and just capture everything. If I waste an hour of recording, I’ll push a button to erase, and try again the next night. Of course, I would be captivated to listen to any one of these dinner sessions a decade from now.
Sunday night a magical never-before never-again simple quote bubbled up from my 2.8-year-old daughter.
Listen to this 9 second MP3. I’m curious whether anyone other than her parents can decipher the words .
So, my daughter looked at me during dinner and said, "Papa, if you eat the last roll, your tummy will burst open and me and Mama will have to clean it up."
That’s my daughter.
Of course, dinner had just begun and there were no rolls on the table, unless you count salad croÃ»tons.
She hasn’t watched TV or videos yet, so I can rule out a Monty Python connection. (Think the Mr. Creosote skit from the film The Meaning of Life. Check out this 7-minute Not Safe For Work Youtube video clip. You’ll find it either very funny or very offensive. It’s definitely teen material. The tie-in to my daughter’s quote comes at the end.)
My Little Miss may have been recalling a dinner from weeks ago as if it was the night afterâ€”she does that often. Or perhaps she was recalling one of her favorite stories, I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie, which involves a woman who eats a series of increasingly larger food items and inanimate objects during Thanksgiving dinner.
The common refrain in that story goes, "I know an old lady who swallowed a pie, a Thanksgiving pie, which was really too dry, perhaps sheâ€™ll die." We change "die" to "cry."
Incidentally, I’m using an Olympus VN-3100PC recorder intended for meeting and interview recordings, and the Audacity audio editor to export to MP3. This is my first time dabbling with audio and the Olympus sound quality seems to be mediocre. If anyone is better versed in audio recording gadgets, I’d appreciate hearing about what you do and the tools you use.
Alternatively, what other methods do you use for making a record of your toddler’s sayings?
See previous: Record your child’s voice