The Unfortunately Named Phoque-y

When Clem was in the hospital with the flu the pediatrician suggested that I take her for a dental check-up to see if any little sneaky cavities were causing the humongous-ness of her tonsils. 

Ah yes…a dental appointment with a two and a half year old who had very recently seen more than enough people in white coats with needles, thermometers, and other pointy instruments…this was something I was really looking forward to.

Still, it had to be done.   As I expected, Clem was having none of it, and wouldn’t open her mouth a crack for the poor dentist, even when she was yelling blue murder through her clenched teeth.    He couldn’t quite get over this fact. 

“They all open their mouth eventually when they yell,” he said.  “Except her.”  It’s nice to know that my girls distinguish themselves so early on in life.  

Despite his post-traumatic stress disorder the dentist told Clem she could pick two treats from the magic present basket on the way out.   She was very keen on this part of the visit  and picked a plastic finger puppet, a plastic fishy for the bath, and a small white stuffed seal.  I was about to point out that this was three things and make her put one back but the hygienist said, with a rather desperate gleam to her eyes, “It’s fine, it’s fine.  She can take them all!  BYE CLEMENTINE!!!”

Anyway, the favorite of these three gifties is undoubtedly the white seal, which Clem calls by it’s French name, “Phoque.”

Just  take a moment to sound that out phonetically in English.

Phoque-y has to come with us everywhere and as he is small and gets lost quite often, Clem is often heard yelling, “Where is phoque-y?  Phoque-yyyyyyyyyyy, phoque-yyyyyyyyyyyyyyy.”

And the last few days have brought a few interpretations on phoque-y’s name.  She (Clem has decreed that it is a girl) also goes by “Phoque-y, phoque, phoque”, “Phoque-ity,” and my personal favorite, “Phoque-ette” (a little bit like “Josette”, I suppose).   

Bilingualism in toddler is more of a minefield than I ever imagined.

2 thoughts on “The Unfortunately Named Phoque-y

  1. A Novel Woman


    This was a favourite word of my kids in school. In fact, my son has a friend with the last name of Fauque so you can imagine him explaining to non-Quebecers.

    Yup. I feel your pain. You should have brought Clem here. She could have seen Doug and we could have had cocktails while we waited. (g)

  2. michele

    I needed a good laugh and your post did it … don’t know them but love your girls from your writings!

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