Friday, October 07, 2005

Wild moo yonder

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.


Kristina Chew said...

Scripting can't be all that bad, can it? How many stuffed dogs have we had to play the role of "Jesso, Jesso's got the ball" from a Teletubbies short. kc

Eileen said...

This is great! Bud sounds as if he is moving beyond scripting and using more appropriate pretend play. My typical 4 year old reenacts scenes from his Thomas the Tank Engine Videos with his trains in a very similar way.

supermom said...

Everytime I read your blog, I see the similarities between our sons. Little One turned 4 on 9/13/05. He is currently stuck on the Spy Kids 1 and 2 as well as Shark Boy and Lava Girl. And I mean stuck. He has recently recited certain words before the characters have said them. He memorized their actions. He also imitates all their gestures and mannerisms. He is obsessed with dolls and carries his sister's Bratz dolls around, reenacting scenes from his current fascination. We have introduced action figures to deter him from carrying those dolls by the hair into the supermarket, mall and restaurants. The dolls hair ends up looking like a bird's nest.
By the way, when he picks up crayons...he picks them in this order ROY G BIV. I wonder if it all means something and we are missing the it?

Melanippe said...

Hi, I found your blog only a couple of days ago & am reading it throughout. I'm a medical translator en>ita, my 3yo son is neurotypical, but i'm interested in autism for my work.
I decided to comment today for the first time because this story, like so many others, struck me so much! I'd say your son has a great fantasy, or that is using lateral thinking patterns I'd like to have! Bud is downright fantastic. I love him. The more I read, the more I think how fascinating is to see how minds work... even (or maybe, right when?) they're... not even wrong :-)
Ciao from Italy,

Marta said...

Love the co(w)pilot and your blog - found it through another blog that referenced to your hair dryer brain in a toaster brain world post, and I started reading from the beginning :) My middle child - a boy of 4,5 - is autistic and I love it that your blog is so happy and upbeat and not about living with a burden of autism and struggling with difficulties it presents, but about a boy who's awesome (to use his own words), creative and funny :) My son is a happy little boy, and the way I see my job as his mom, is to try my best so that he stays happy forever :) Thank you for your blog, I'll continue reading it now!