Bud's favorite toys are his character figures. He has full sets of his favorite casts - Blues Clues, Teletubbies, Sesame Street - and increasingly he uses these figures to create his own storylines, sometimes even concocting plots in which Clifford the Big Red Dog hangs out with Barney and Baby Bop.
What he really loves, though, is recreating favorite scenes from treasured videos and tv shows. He's a skilled director - framing the shot, working out the blocking, and even doubling as dialogue coach. When he doesn't have a full set of characters or when he needs a guest star, he is happy to improvise and pretend - so the Fisher Price dollhouse mom and dad regularly fill in as the Kratt Brothers when he plays Zoboomafoo, but can also serve as Steve and Joe when both are needed for Blues Clues.
This week he's been taken with a recent episode of Caillou, in which Caillou and his family take a trip on an airplane. Bud has figures of Caillou and his little sister Rosie, but the Fisher Price parents were called into action to play the roles of Caillou's Mom and Dad. The scene that got the most play was the one in which the family was invited to visit the cockpit (which, for some reason that most certainly exists but I haven't yet figured out, Bud insists on calling the "plane-tent.") In Bud's depiction of this scene, the players have consistently been Caillou, Rosie, their Mom and Dad, and a toy cow. Each time, the cow cheerfully greets Caillou and his family, "Good morning, young man! Would you like to visit the plane-tent?" and a tour of the cockpit ensues.
It took a few viewings of Bud's cow-in-the-airplane scene for me to understand what was going on. At first I thought the cow was flying the plane. Then it hit me. The cow wasn't the main pilot.
She was the co(w)pilot.