Cluquah

Kid's are weird. It's fascinating how they make up their own words for things. It seems to come up during the time that they're still learning how to make all the right phonems. Instead of waiting to be able to make the sounds, they just substitute a new word. Some of them stick, possibly with parental help because they're so darned cute.

One of PP's is his name for touch devices. They are all "ohnos." There is little ohno, the iPod touch, big ohno, the first generation iPad, and magic ohno, the second gen iPad, so named because it could magically turn off when close the cover.

The name that's really stuck is his name for Mrs 'Struction. Thanks to her coaching, he learned "dada" as one of his first words. The site of him steadying himself on the child gate, looking up and me, and saying "Hi Dada" for the first time is deeply etched into my brain.

A couple months passed from that time, and he still wasn't saying "Momma." Other words had come right on schedule, but Mrs 'Struction was getting downright annoyed. "He's been saying 'Dada' for months. What's with this?" One day, she got determined. She sat him on the couch and positioned herself in front of him. "MOMMMA!" she enunciated, bobbing her head with the emphasis.

"Clu Clu" was his reply.

She tried again. "MOMA."

"Clu Clu"

This went on. and on. She tried pointing to herself. She tried pointing to me and saying "Dada"

"Dada" was his reply.

Then she pointed to herself. "Moma"

"Clu Clu!"

That's when it final dawned. "Hold on," I said, "I think you're Clu Clu."

She pointed to herself, "Clu Clu?"

At this point he was a teenager (if measured in months), and the eye role he gave fit the part perfectly. He pointed right at her. "Clu Clu!" The message was clear. The old lady finally got it!

I gave it some thought. "I think he's been calling you that for months. We just never noticed."

And that was how Mrs 'Struction became Clu Clu, which gradually morphed into Cluquah, which she has stayed ever since, and I've been eternally jealous that she has a cool bespoke name, and I'm just plain old Daddy.