This post is a part of my “Board Book Beauty – Savoring the small as I read to my toddler” series. To see all of the posts in the series, go here.
“No! You must NOT hop on pop!” she repeats, after I’ve finished reading that line. She loses herself in a fit of giggles, far out of proportion for the humor of the situation. Something in it has struck her as downright hilarious, and I don’t have an inkling of what it is.
“NOT hop on pop!” she says again, joy in her voice, and it hits me: she’s thinking of her own Pop as we read this line, imagining what it might be like to use him as a springboard, and this is, of course, quite funny.
Pop is the name she settled on for both of her grandfathers. Somehow, “Grandma and Grandpa” morphed into “Gup and Pop.” It’s toddler-speak at its best, names adapted by mispronunciation. She’s already given up Gup – Gramma, it now comes out – but Pop has stuck. I hope it stays a long time.
“Gup and Pop” join a long list of other words and phrases that Katie charmingly mangles or misuses:
My sister Steph is (and will always and forever be, if I have anything to say about it) Aunt Fats.
When finished eating, she used to tell us she was “All dug.” (I miss that one. A lot.)
She almost always uses “my” instead of “I” – “My hungry, Mama,” she tells me when she wakes up from her nap. “My want a snack. My need get FOOD in that tummy!”
Unfailingly polite, she often asks inanimate objects to get out of her way – “Excuse me, chair,” or “Excuse me, Abby’s swing.”
When Abby’s crying (a frequent occurance, unfortunately): “Abby not HA-ppy again.”
When she wants to convince us to do something: “Mama come play in libbun roon [living room], I fink?” (Which makes us realize how often we say such things to her – “Daddy’s in the kitchen, I think,” or “I think we’ll wait to do that until later.”
Time is a tricky concept. Everything that happened before “right now” (another favorite phrase), happened yesterday. For instance: “Yesterday, Mommy go to hop-si-tal to get Abby out and I stay wif Fats and Mike. And I have my pas-fers [pacifiers]. And we dance music. That happened,” all said with a knowing nod.
People used to be “poops.” They’ve since evolved to being “poopool.” (I must admit, there are days when I agree wholeheartedly with her assessment of human beings).
Whenever we tell her we’re going somewhere (usually church or BSF or MOPS), her response is that she doesn’t want to go because there are “poopool” there. Today, I tried listing the people she knows and enjoys. Her response? “No, Mama, they not poopool!” as though I was trying to pull one over on her. (The best explanation I can come up with is that “poopool” are those who are not friends).
The creative use of language by a mouth that is still figuring out how to speak is one of my favorite parts of this age (and watching her learn proper usage, thereby eliminating such things from her lexicon, is rather bittersweet).
These days, Katie loves to tell us she likes things and loves people. “My YIKE fruit,” she says, as I hand her an apple slice. “My love those guys,” she tells me after spending the day with aunts and uncles and cousins.
Well, little girl, I LIKE this stage of development and the fun things you say. I LIKE your sweet spirit and your kind heart.
And I LOVE you.
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