After a month of living off the grid, I'm not even sure how to re-emerge into the blogosphere. I've always thought that once a blogger starts beginning posts with phrases like "Wow, I can't believe how long it's been since I've written," it's a sure sign that the blog has jumped the shark.
I gotta admit, I can see the fins circling.
It's funny how it happens, though. It starts with "Oh, this will make a good post. I'll just set that idea aside until I have time to flesh it out," then it morphs into "Maybe I can blend this story with the other one and just have a longer post," which soon becomes, "Okay, I'll just scrap those two and start fresh with this one," and suddenly a post-free month passes and I begin to think that maybe I should just pack it all in and go low-tech.
But here I am in my Fonzie finest, life jacket in place and fingers flying on the keyboard, in a (perhaps futile) attempt to salvage the ratings. And yet, I'm not quite sure where to begin, and if I really try to fill in all the gaps since the last time I wrote, this post will inevitably end up in the dead letter of office of half-written drafts.
So I will begin here:
I've been thinking a lot about how Bud's language has progressed, and about how sophisticated his use of mitigated echolalia has become (as, I might add, Barry Prizant predicted years ago). Bud has an enormous store of phrases and sentences filed in his brain and he's able to retrieve them in an instant, mentally flipping through to find the phrase or quote or snippet of language that most closely fits the real-life situation in which he finds himself. He is so skilled with it, in fact, that unless you know he's using scripts, you wouldn't know he's using scripts. Most people have brief conversations with him in passing and simply think his language is a little quirky.
A favorite recent example:
Bud was sick back in October - nothing serious, but it required a trip to the doctor. At the time, he was geared up to be a doctor for Halloween, so in preparation for his visit he donned his white lab coat, strapped on his head mirror, wrapped his stethoscope around his neck, and pulled a face mask over his mouth. He walked through the medical center with an air of authority and, to a person, the staff and nurses he met treated him with solemn respect: "Hello, Doctor. We're glad you've come to help us today." Bud nodded at them, told them they were welcome, and, through the use of doctor-visit scripts from Elmo and Blues Clues, generally reassured them that he was happy to be on the job.
We got into the exam room and Bud climbed up on the table as Nurse Dan walked into the room. "Hello again, Bud," he greeted us. "I see you you've become a doctor since the last time I saw you!"
"Well," Bud replied matter-of-factly, "I've gotta make a living somehow, you know."
"I hear you, Bud," Nurse Dan commiserated. "Don't we all."
"Yeah," Bud agreed. "Don't we all."
And there you have it. A quick little vignette from my life with Bud to get me started on what I hope will be a roll of more frequent posting.
I've gotta start blogging somewhere, you know.