January 18, 2015

Nobody Puts Baby in a Corner

Except for Bridger.

He can.

In the corner of his high-walled special needs safety bed - that is where she cozies up to play "school" with Bridger.  She assumes the role of teacher and he is pupil - surprising an agreeable one at that and eagerly responds to her tutelage.

Maybe this new role of respect and authority is the reason he has given her a new name.  He now calls her by her given name, Eliza (pronounced by him as "Ee-Wi-Dah".)

It saddens me slightly, as the name by which he has called her over the past couple years always made me smile.

She was Baby.

There has always been bit of a name game going on in our family as Bridger first learned some motor control and gave his siblings a "name sign" before he could make sounds. Those signs were completely invented by Bridger and it was fascinating when we learned what/who he was referencing when he made those signs.

To call for his older brother, he would put his hands up by the brim of an imaginary hat - partly replicating the sign for "boy" and partly referencing the brim of Lance's little red Washington Nationals hat that he always wore when he was younger {even to bed}.

For Evie's name sign, he would run both fingers from the sides of his eyes down his cheeks.  One might think he was signing tears - but his motion was referencing the many freckles on his sister's face.

He would put his little hand on his forehead for Sadie - imitating her bangs.

Slowly the name signs disappeared as they made way for his new skill of uttering sounds.  Those sound utterances soon became recognizable names that have stuck for the past 2 years.

When presented you with his siblings, Bridger will excitedly introduce you to Lance ("Bwu-dah"), Evie ("Ee-bee"), Sadie (Aa-dee"), and Eliza ("Baby").  He knew her first as 'the baby', so 5 1/2 years later, she remains Baby.

I love that.

I was pretty sure she would be in her 20's and 30's and still introduced by him as Baby.

Then Eliza and Bridger, after I presented them an old clipboard and desktop easel this week, added to their repertoire of imaginative play and started playing "school".  That is when Baby evolved into something more.

She is now "Ee-wi-dah".

So much more of a tongue twister for him that the 2 syllable alternative.  I wish he would go back.  Perhaps he realizes that it is time that she grew up too.

Although, she is still small enough to be made road kill out of with one sharp dash of his wheelchair - which he promptly tried to do as soon as he put her down.

They are the very best of friends.**

**Except when they are not. In which case that enclosed safety bed/school room can quickly turn into a WWF ring.