Thursday, April 29, 2010

Jeff V.

For months Scotty has been talking about Jeff V. when I pick him up from school.  I've been meaning to ask the teachers which kid is Jeff V., so we could maybe invite him over for a play date.  Or so I could just get a peek at him, even.  I'm nosey like that.

On Saturday morning, in fact, Scotty was telling Tommy and me about the funniest thing that happened when he was playing with Jeff V., and that was when Erik popped in from the other room.  "Mia, and Tommy," he said, "I don't know if you know this, but Scotty has an invisible friend!"

Wait.  What?

"His name is 'Jeffy' and they play together all the time."

Wait.  What?  Suddenly, it's all making sense!  He talks about Jeffy in ways he doesn't talk about anyone else.  Jeffy has brown hair, "just like daddy".  And sometimes, Jeffy "stays home to do homework."  I also found out, just this weekend, that Jeffy sometimes sleeps in our van, and that Jeffy (just like Scotty) is not interested in moving to Room 4 next year.  Nope, Jeffy likes it in Room 2.

Now, Tommy never had an imaginary friend, but I think it is so perfectly Scotty that he does.  That kid is so quirky!  I told my brother about Jeffy, and he said, "Oh, yeah, I've played with him over at Mom's house."  Well, that makes sense, because...wait.  What?

Currently, I may be in danger of ruining Jeffy for Scotty altogether.  I am so charmed by the whole notion of Scotty's Imaginary Friend that I think I've been asking too many questions for Scotty's comfort.  I find myself this week saying things like, "What do you want for dinner?  What does Jeffy eat?"  I'm just dying to know more about this fellow!  But I can see that I am asking some questions that put Jeffy into situations that Scotty's never considered before, and this takes him out of the "Jeffy Space" for a moment.  I can see him scrunching his nose in concentration when I ask about Jeffy's stance on team sports, or healthcare reform.  

It's interesting, because Scotty has some sort of...something.  I don't even know what to call it, but he has trouble with his speech.  I'm not sure yet if it's something with his auditory function (can he hear sounds accurately, so that he can recreate them accurately?) (note to self:  make the doctor's appointment, stop procrastinating) or does he have a speech therapy issue (does he need explicit training on how to form certain sounds with the shape of his mouth or the placement of his tongue?) or is it some kind of learning or developmental delay (is he actually thinking unclearly, and therefore speaking unclearly?).  Or is it something else entirely?  He gets really frustrated sometimes when I just can't get the one or two crucial words that he's trying so hard to communicate to me.  In the last year it's actually gotten much better.  I can now understand just about 80% of what he says.   As long as I already know the context that he's talking about.  Sometimes, he'll try to tell me some random story and I'm sweating because I know it's going to be a rough one. 

Anyway, he's terribly bright, by all accounts (not just this biased mama's opinion!) and I'm wondering a little bit if he has Jeffy because Jeffy always understands him, and it's easy to talk to Jeffy when talking with other people feels like work, sometimes.  I think it's nice to have somebody around who always understands you, don't you?


  1. What a sweet story! Again you take me back to the days when my own children were small. My son was a bright, earnest, sensitive child and my daughter a very quirky kid with an articulation problem. I remember once when Marea informed another child at the pool that her name was "Mawea" and the other girl spent to rest of the afternoon calling out, "Mawea, come over here." She used to narrate her play too, as if she was reading a story. It is amazing how kids figure out what they need. Scotty sounds like such a dear, little guy.

  2. Nice blog you got here... Just droppin' by to say hi!

  3. I don't think these conversations are just with imaginary friends, I think it is the whole trying to figure out what is going on in their heads when you don't get to spend all your time with them anymore....

  4. @ Michelle ~ agreed!

    @ Laurie ~ that's so funny! Scotty's teachers mispronounced our last name ~ like everybody else on the planet! ~ and so he went around for months announcing his name with a hard-g sound instead of the j-as-y sound! Oh, how we pointed and laughed at him. :)

    Thanks Juls!

    @ Brit ~ I think so too! It's the weirdest feeling when they start in on something, and you realize they have a whole little life outside of you? Like, they start singing a song you've never heard, or something like that? *sigh*