So, this is pretty silly, I don't even know. I dreamed about this over the summer and typed up the main idea of it in a Word document, forgot about it, then found it a few days ago, and decided to finish it up. At the very least, it will hopefully make you laugh.
Disclaimer: I own nothin - wait! Yes, I do! I own Chloe. Ha. That's pretty cool. But, yeah, nothing besides her.
While frequently having a child in apartment 4A (especially during dinner) was still a tad odd to Sheldon, he found himself able to internally admit that it wasn't as bad as he'd insisted it would be. It helped that Leonard and Penny's daughter was now eighteen months old, having surpassed a year of life, and no longer solely communicated through crying or needed to be burped after every feeding – a spectacle that still put Sheldon at a loss as to how it had occurred in his apartment so many times, forcing him to bear witness to it. The theoretical physicist suppressed a shudder. Horrible times.
But, as he'd reflected, little Chloe Hofstadter was older now, making dinner time much more pleasant for the Texan. He had been able to eat his not-really-tangerine-chicken in his spot in peace, and now the meal time conversation did not have to be reduced to strained whispers so as not to wake a crying infant.
For the most part, the sitting area of the apartment was exactly as it had been before the arrival of Leonard and Penny's progeny, with Amy seated next to her boyfriend, conversing with him as well as Bernadette who occupied the final spot on the couch, while Howard and Raj debated who the better wizard was: Gandalf or Dumbledore. With Leonard and Penny taking up their usual spots in the white arm chair and wooden seat, the presence of Chloe playing with a plush Yoda doll on a blanket set out for her near Penny's chair didn't seem so disruptive to Sheldon.
The young baby Hofstadter had been enjoying herself with the doll for quite a while, mumbling happily to herself as she played. A few yawns began to punctuate her Star Wars activity, and quickly after she started tiredly rubbing her green eyes, the eighteen month old's lower lip trembled and she began whimpering.
Well, her presence wasn't disruptive unless she did that.
"Oh," Penny soothed, using her mother voice – a voice Sheldon had been very perturbed to realize she'd used on him before. The Nebraskan lifted her daughter from the blanket and into her lap. "You're sleepy, eh?" Penny smoothed down the soft, blonde locks of hair on the baby's head as Chloe buried her face between her mother's right arm and her side.
"We should probably get going," said Leonard, placing a hand on his daughter's back and gently stroking his thumb up and down.
Penny tipped her head down towards her baby. "Chloe, you ready to say goodbye?"
Ah, yes. This again.
As the baby had begun to learn the names of the members of their group, Chloe's parents had developed a fascination with having their daughter say goodbye to each person before they returned home across the hall. It was a rather tedious ritual that was apparently made endearing by Chloe patting each group member's knee as she bid them farewell. Sheldon found that it was very reminiscent of The Sound of Music, though thankfully without the singing – if her parents' voices where any indication, then Chloe Hofstadter would not become the next Julie Andrews, a feat Raj claimed to be impossible for anyone. After viewing it multiple times, Sheldon didn't quite understand the appeal, but if nothing else, he could respect a person's routine – a valid point Amy had made when the theoretical physicist had explained his bemusement over what was so interesting about Chloe's actions.
Chloe approached Raj after being placed back on the floor by her mother, her tiredness temporarily forgotten. She placed a tiny hand on the lovable foreigner's knee before saying goodbye to him, pronouncing his name "Wajie" instead of "Raj". Having not quite mastered the names of the group yet, she had variations for each of them. Howard was "Owie", and Bernadette was "Bunny" (something Sheldon actually did find quite amusing). Then there was Chloe's name for him, "Selly" – though he found it a tad worrisome that she was nearing the point of calling him "Shelly". Amy's was the only name that Chloe could say properly, something the neurobiologist was exceedingly proud of.
Chloe made her rounds as usual, bidding everyone goodbye. It wasn't until she reached the theoretical physicist that she made a break in her pattern.
She grinned up at him. "Bye, Moopa," she said, patting his knee before returning to Penny's – who Sheldon noticed had a suspiciously wide grin on her face – outstretched arms.
"See you guys later!" Leonard said, with a smile to match Penny's as he quickly gathered up Chloe's blanket and Yoda doll.
Sheldon stared at the door as it closed behind the family. What – what in the world was a "Moopa"? What had happened to "Selly"? The child couldn't possibly be attempting to pronounce his full name; it only had one letter in common and the two names sounded nothing alike – if "Moopa" even was a name. Perhaps Chloe had simply been spouting off nonsense and hadn't been addressing him at all. But, no. She'd looked directly at him as she'd uttered that bizarre word, and given him her signature wave and knee pat. She had to have meant him by saying "Moopa". Moopa ... what did it even mean? Well, nothing, of course, it wasn't a real word, it simply referred to him somehow. It had the word "moo" in it and Chloe usually said that when talking about cows or whenever Penny showed her pictures from the farm in Nebraska. So cow, then, and "pa". Pa meant father, though she didn't call Leonard that, but now he thought of it, Sheldon seemed to remember her calling Wyatt that when he'd visited. So, to Chloe, pa meant grandfather.
The theoretical physicist had to keep himself from shuddering in horror at the name. No, that couldn't possibly be it. He wasn't old enough to be a grandfather! And there was absolutely no reason for Chloe to compare him to a cow, none at all. So, that couldn't be right. And if Leonard and Penny's progeny was trying to nickname him Grandfather Cow, then she had another thing coming.
As the theoretical physicist continued to ponder the implications of such a nickname, the rest of 4A's occupants watched him, each trying to hide their amused smiles.
"Think he'll figure it out?" Bernadette whispered to her husband.
Howard shrugged. "It was a pretty accurate pronunciation for a kid who's not even two." He glanced at Sheldon who was so immersed in his contemplations that he couldn't hear the married couple's discussion. "It may take him a while, but he should be able to get it – "
And at precisely that moment, he did.
The theoretical physicist leapt from his spot as though it were radioactive, a panicked look on his face. He frantically rushed past the other four, exiting the apartment and hurrying down the hall. His signature knock was heard, and then ...
"You've been teaching your daughter to call me 'Moonpie'?!"