Today’s post is a throwback from two years ago, but unfortunately, a little piece of it has resurfaced and made it newly relevant to my life. My youngest son, dubbed appropriately Chaos, has a talent for making up words he thinks are nonsense, but in fact are not.
Here’s evidence from two years ago…
My youngest has a stuffed caterpillar who he is fond of. I’ve only had moderate success in convincing my kids that this is, indeed, a caterpillar. They all call it a worm.
Whatever name it goes by, it’s soft and squishy and fuzzy and my son loves to sleep with it and carry it around.
One day, while trying to distract Chaos from whining, or crying, or just being two, I asked him, “What’s your worm’s name?”
I didn’t really have any curiosity about this – his name was going to be Wormy. Because that is how my children name everything. Dogs are Doggy, fish are Fishy. Even the moon is Moony.
My son considered his squishy, little, stuffed worm and said seriously, “Name is Crunchy.”
Me: “Crunchy? You named your soft…squishy….worm Crunchy?”
Chaos, decidedly: “Yup. Is Crunchy Worm.”
And I laughed and laughed and told Chaos he was weird, but in a good way.
And I vowed to make that name stick. Because it adds joy to my day to call it Crunchy Worm.
But then, a few days later Chaos was in full nonsense-word mode and was pretending his worm was a light saber.
I said, “Is Crunchy Worm a light saber?” (Because I am that good of a conversationalist.)
Chaos said, “No, not Crunchy. Name is … Booby!”
I snorted because isn’t it unfortunate when nonsense words turn out to not really be nonsense? I’m sure he’s never heard the word booby, so I decided to try to shift things a bit in the hopes he didn’t remember exactly what he had said.
Because having his favorite caterpillar be named Booby Worm was just too weird.
So I said, “His name is Poopy?”
Don’t judge me. I don’t know how Poopy is better than Booby. There’s no script for these things.
But he looked at me like I was an idiot and said very pointedly and with very deliberate pronunciation, “NO. Name is BOOOO-BEEEEEE.”
And I was at a loss. So I just let him walk out of the kitchen making Jedi noises and swinging Booby the Light Saber Worm.
But you can bet your boobies that I was not letting that name stick.
In fact, like any good mother I decided to pretend that conversation had never happened and bent all my energy toward reinforcing the name Crunchy.
And…I win! Booby is a thing of the past and the soft caterpillar is officially Crunchy Worm.
Then yesterday, in an unexpected twist, Crunchy Worm received his own Pringles container to live in.
Chaos didn’t bother to finish the Pringles before adding the worm, so I’m happy to report that today, Crunchy is probably a little bit crunchy
And back to present day…
For the last two years Chaos’s favorite name for things has been Beebee. He’s stumbled upon quite a few not-really-nonsense words while playing, but it’s all been ignored and he’s forgotten quickly.
But just this past week, we were at the library and Chaos was choosing a name for the leprechaun he had just made. He thought of the usual names: Beebee and Cranger and Doodaa.
Unfortunately, he decided on none of these. Instead he walked up to the nice librarian lady and declared his leprechaun was named Mr. Booby Head.
Very pleased at her more-surprised-than-expected reaction, he continued to tell this to every adult he could find while I followed behind him trying to get him to shut up and apologizing to all the elderly women he was insulting.
I’m trying to believe, against all logic, that he’ll forget this made such a splash and will drop the word booby back out of his vocabulary. Don’t dash my hopes. It could happen.