I got a little nervous and fidgeted in my chair. I thought to myself, "Shit, this sounds serious" and they proceeded to explain to me that Pants has a vivid imagination. I already knew this because I live with him. Then they rattled off all of his stuffed animal names and repeated some of the story lines from their adventures that I am familiar with. I giggled at first like, "Yurp, that's my kid!" and then I gave some kind of pish posh meh dismissal of this being a problem. But then it became clear they were actually worried about his relationship with his stuffed animals. And just like that I was thrown off my game.
I truly had no words with which to respond. They went on for quite a bit talking about all the stories he tells and scenes he acts out. He has voices for all of the different animals! Did I know that? Yep. Knew that. It is in speech when he is one on one that he wants to talks the most. In SPEECH. Speech is where he is telling stories and talking a lot.
I was a bit flummoxed but finally mustered up, "Is this becoming a problem in class?"
Based on the level of concern coming from tone, words and body language, I expected them to say, "YES! Your son is WEIRD! It's a huge distraction!" and I was prepared to huff out of there stomping the whole way and slamming the door in protest. And maybe flipping them off and kicking the trash can.
But they said that no, it wasn't. So I was like, "Huh....." and there was some silence. Because I really just had no words. So you're concerned but it's not causing a problem? Did I just land in bizarro world?
Of course, now, a week later, I have words. Words like, "The hell? This is not a problem. You just said it wasn't a problem. So why the concern-y face?" and "We are talking about a small child that never talked to people before but is now talking to YOU and you what? Want him to shut up?" or "It's not weird to be 5 and love stuffed animals and have an imagination"
They recommended that I put him in a sport or a class to help him focus on other things and "depend less" on the stuffed animals. What I heard is that they want me to gently force a break up and book him into socially acceptable activities stat. And apparently I can do that by putting him in swimming or something?
They are right about some of it. His relationships with his stuffed animals ARE real to him. That might concern them, but I'm not worried. I'm not worried because he talks to human people too. He has little human friends that he loves, plays with and talks to. He hugs human people all the time and has special voices for them too. In fact, the voice he uses for me is pretty upsetting but I forgive him.
He's fine. He actually better than fine.
While playing in his room he goes on adventures with Black Horse, Lizard, Tree Frog, Bunny, Frenny and Pataki the Walrus. They fight fires and save the universe. Sometimes they get into fights and have to work that shit out. Sometimes they all eat dinner together and Black Horse eats all the nasty things that Pants can't fathom eating. It's because Black Horse is his best friend and will do that for him out of love. They all snuggle together in their closet bedroom and tell jokes that make zero sense. Frenny is the lone girl and is often dressed accordingly. Poor Lizard is often being used as a sling shot to take down a monster or a giant. He gets banged up a lot but Tree Frog has magic medicine so he always gets healed up real good.
I could go on for DAYS.
His creativity and storytelling are kind of amazing. I will never discourage it. Instead, I'm going to love watching it grow and hone. I'm not mad at his teachers, well I WAS crabby but I'm better now. They are great people and Pants is cool with them. I am simply intrigued by their reaction and I wonder just how "different" Pants truly is then the typical kids they work with. My guess is not that much.
He seems to have a knack for tilting people slightly off balance and leaving them wondering what winds just blew through. I think, if they are willing, they just might learn a thing or two from him this year. And maybe just maybe, he will open their minds to what is real. Just like he did mine.