All the way to school this morning, Bud sat in the back seat of the car and read the book Arthur's Birthday. To be honest, he may not actually have been reading it, since he memorized the book a long time ago and would not even need to look at the pages to be able to recite it verbatim. Either way, he was engrossed in the book for the whole ride.
When we got to school, he left the book in the car but continued to script passages of it as we walked together toward the school building. As I often do, I tried to engage with his script to pull him out of his echolalic track and into more spontaneous speech as he made the transition to his school day.
"Three dollar bills fell out!" he said.
"That's right," I said. "Arthur got three dollars from his Uncle Bud."
A little lightbulb clicked on in my head, and I said, "Hey, I just thought of something. What name do I call you sometimes?"
"What?" he said.
"What name do I call you sometimes?"
"Mom." (Darn those pesky pronouns.)
"You call me 'Mom'. Do you remember the name I call you when I write about you on the computer?"
Bud knows about my blog, though he doesn't really understand what it is. He enjoys looking at it to see pictures of his toys, his writing, and his drawings, and likes scanning the text for his favorite words: "Teletubbies," "Curious George," "Jack Johnson," etc. Recently he saw one of those words on the screen and asked me what I was writing, so I read the sentence to him and explained that when I write about him on the computer I always call him "Bud" (a name which, frankly, I call him more often than not in real life as well).
"What?" he asked again.
"I call you 'Bud'! Just like Arthur's Uncle Bud!"
"Yeah," he said, as we continued to walk through the school. Then he added, "That's a great name."
"It is a great name," I said. "Because you are a great kid."
He didn't look at me. He just smiled a shy, private smile, then reached over and slipped his mittened hand into mine as we walked down the hallway to his classroom.
Great name. Great kid. Great moment.