The Toddler loves rabbits. The Toddler has had several words for rabbits. The first word for rabbit was ‘mouse’. Clearly, she was confused as to what a rabbit is. (Her cuddly donkey is currently living a double life as a ‘Cow! Moo!’)
Mouse confusion cleared up, we discussed rabbits. Rabbits, of course, are one of those awkward animals. What noise does a rabbit make? We need the noise. How do we teach children animal names? ‘Cat. Cats say “meow”. Dog. Dogs say “woof”. Sheep. Sheep say “baa”. Rabbit. Rabbits say…oh.’ We need the noise! Never mind. We have it covered: rabbits hop! Hop little bunny, hop, hop, hop! So The Toddler called rabbits ‘hops’. She enjoyed hopping like a hop.
Then The Toddler noticed that other people were calling the hops ‘rabbits’. She decided this should not be ignored. Rabbit should be incorporated into hop. She called them ‘hoppits’. It became immediately clear to us all that rabbits are, of course, hoppits. Why are we not all calling rabbits hoppits? We should all be calling them hoppits. The terrible error that has led to hoppits being wrongly referred to as rabbits all this time should be immediately rectified.
Sadly, The Toddler’s flashcards refused to conform to this name change. They stubbornly maintained that rabbits are, in fact, called rabbits. R is for rabbit. The Toddler enjoys the flashcards.
‘H is for?’
‘M is for?’
‘A is for?’
‘R is for?’
‘Rabbit. R is for rabbit. What is r for?’
The Toddler can now say ‘rabbit’. She humours the less progressive among us (and her flashcards), employing the traditional terminology when necessary to avoid confusion. In private, however, she continues the crusade. The dream will become reality. ‘Hoppit’ will enter the Oxford Dictionary. One day, r will be for hoppit!