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Just when I think I am caught up on the habits and happenings around my own house, Truman throws me for a loop. He is currently 2, (28 months for those of you who like to know the exact amount of 2!) going on 30. Recently he figured out that he can string three and four words together to really get his point across and also learned how to use our previously uttered words against us. I assure you there is nothing more humbling than hearing your own command parroted back to you in a loud and angry toddler voice.

While Truman’s vocabulary is outstanding and his level of communication continues to impress, there are a couple of phrases that baffle me. Sometimes, I have to listen hard to his sweet jumbled toddler speak, and try to guess what he is saying. Then, I repeat my guesses back to him until he confirms that I got it right. We are both left warm and cozy, satisfied that we understand each other. Until, I was introduced to FO-POP.

I have no idea what the hell Fo-Pop actually means, or who he may be, but I need it to go away. Because it is obvious to me now that Fo-Pop means something really naughty or mean has happened, is happening, or is about to happen very soon. Examples include:

Truman throwing handfuls of his dinner onto the kitchen floor with a growly and triumphant, “FO-POP!”

Truman smacking Grant on the head with a gleeful, “FO-POP!”

Truman sweetly nursing, pulling away, flashing me a beautiful grin… and stabbing his finger into my eye, “FO-POP!”

Truman spitting mouthfuls of water around the house while giggling, “FO-POP!”

Truman running away from his parents, sans clothing, calling over his shoulder, “FOOOOOO-POOOOOP!”

Truman sitting in the corner because his mother may beat him if he breaks the rules one more time, whispering; “fo-pop. fo-pop. fo-pop.”

I’m at a total loss. I’ve tried asking him what fo-pop means, where it comes from, who said it… I get a sly smile and nodding. Then an emphatic, “Fo-Pop!” with a kick or a slap or a reckless jump. I tried hard to ignore it, but you can only ignore so much before you have to step in and save your house… or your baby … or your eyes. I’ve tried to imagine what words sound like fo-pop but really can’t come up with anything that makes sense.

No-stop? He uses both of those words clearly and correctly, often.

Go-Hop? Not at all suggestive of committing acts of evil.

Close-Shop? Does he want me to close up shop and get out of his house?

Blow-Chop? Well, he does deliver blows and karate style chops, so maybe?

Maybe he misunderstood what some naughty acting person said? Saw something on T.V.? Learned it from Jewel the ghost? Has an imaginary friend? My sisters and I all had imaginary friends, so he would come by it naturally. Nellie had Poo-Paw, I had Agua and Emily had Killy (not Kelly, that would be too normal. Killy.) My little cousin Nick had an imaginary friend named Gee-Gee who got him into all sorts of trouble. If Fo-Pop starts making Truman jam sticks into our ignition and spread hundreds of pounds of dog food all over the garage like Gee-Gee did, we will certainly have a problem.

I really have no clue. I’m praying that whether Fo-Pop is a friend or just a silly phrase, it goes away really soon. Half of me is livid about the behavior that accompanies Fo-Pop, and the other half of me is afraid I’ll burst out laughing the next time I hear it proudly proclaimed by this tow-headed boy with huge gleaming eyes and a mischievous grin. Fo-Pop is Truman’s personal “Bangarang!”

(Note: If you don’t know what Bangarang is, you should be ashamed. I highly recommend watching Hook in the very near future.)

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