Friday, September 18, 2009


"Mama, I think I ate my homework."

"I need some wood, a hammer, and some nails so I can build a treehouse."

"How much chocolate did I eat? Too much."

Martin has uttered these sentences in the last day or so. None of them have any basis in his reality. He doesn't have any homework to eat. We don't have a tree that could accommodate a treehouse. At most, he's had one chocolate chip cookie. All of these lines are from books or movies. They are from stories of worms eating their schoolwork and pigs building tree forts and animated cucumbers with chocolate addiction.

For a long time, Martin repeated entire scripts from books and movies. He often did this in stressful situations, like a playground full of kids who Martin didn't know how to interact with. He would also use the scripts as fodder for playing by himself, using little toy figurines to act out scenes from Sesame Street or moments from the Cat in the Hat. Now that he has more capacity for language use, we don't hear the scripts as often. But they are certainly there. I find them very mysterious.

For instance, most mornings Martin wakes up and comes into the kitchen. When we say "good morning," he says "good morning" back to us. He knows how to have morning conversation. He can talk about how he slept and what he wants for breakfast. This morning, however, I walked in his room and found him sitting on the floor staring into space. "Mama, I think I ate my homework," he said. I have to wonder what is going on. What about this morning is different? What about this morning pushes him out of the real world and into his own?

I'm mostly concerned about this habit because people find it kinda weird. For example, when I pick Martin up from school, he says his goodbyes to everyone. It always involves the same set of phrases. "OK, OK, I'll see you later. I'll see you five minutes. OK, OK." Of course, he isn't going to see people in five minutes. He won't see them until the next morning and he knows that. But for some reason, the task of saying goodbye strains him a bit and out comes a script.

I wish staring into his ears could give me some insight into what's going on in his head.


  1. Oh wouldn't this journey be easier if we could do just that!!! Maybe I could do the same for my husband and boss, too!!!

  2. I wonder what leads me to sing particular songs at particular times. You know sometimes it is very uncanny.