It was brought to my attention that I occasionally use family nicknames for Armand in my writing, the vast majority of which none of you would be familiar with. It’s somewhat of a tradition (nay, an artform) in my family to assign completely random nicknames for those close to us, or in my case, anyone within ten feet of me. I think it’s because I’m terrible with actual names.
During our relationship, Lindy and I sort of settled on child names should we ever have one; oddly, they would’ve had the same initials, ASH. So the first birthday card we signed after we discovered the pregnancy (for Grandpa Jim) was signed “Tim, Lindy, and ASH”. During the pregnancy, after we found out he was,… well, a “he”, I began referring to him as Kuato, then later Bubble Boy (I pretended that Lindy’s tummy gurgling was actually Armand trying to talk to me by blowing bubbles), and finally Future Fat Man. Soon after his birth, he looked a bit like a little Buddah, so I called him Confucious, and later Wee Fat Pu. When the baby hair on the top of his head fell out, he became Picard and later, Frasier. Lindy started calling him Stink Buns, which I translated to Bun-Bun. His Papa began calling him M&M, a reference to a nickname Lindy began, Mr. Man. He has also been Chunk-A-Dunk, Short Stack (and later, Stackalitus), Bun Sequetor, Buntaggio, Pu-Pu, Mr. Pants, Tiny Pants Man, Bubblin’ Pu, Bubblish, Ari, Armandas (from “Armand S”), Chunkton, Kuato-Man. The crown jewel so far belongs to Armand’s cousin Nate, who calls him The Little Mailman That Smells Like Chocolate.
I’m sure there are tons more I’m forgetting — his 1st birthday cake had his name listed vertically, and horizontally the letters of his name were used crossword puzzle style in nicknames (for instance, his middle name, S, was the first letter of Stack as is Short Stack). I once joked that he wouldn’t know what his real name is until he got his driver’s license.
Today, Lindy let it be known she thinks I need to start calling him by his real name, or else he’ll never know what it is, especially now that he can hear better.
Why do I bring this up? Well, I’m not sure, I had a whole deep thoughts idea about finding out about who Armand is, blah blah blah, and relating it to today’s session with a psychologist here at the University of Minnesota. But I couldn’t get it coherent enough in my head. So I’ll just tell you that we spent nearly three hours there today, filling out questionaires while the psychologist played with Armand looking for different reactions, ability to reason, problem solving, shape recognition, etc., only to find out that Armand scored “delayed”. Well, we knew that much, we’re trying to find out how to catch him up. I understand their need to see and work with him firsthand to get a baseline for how aggressive his disorder is. But it does seem like despite seemingly not knowing his name, we do know who Armand is on the inside (see what I did there?). I guess it’s more effective to fill out questionaires than if I just wore a sticker that said “Ask me about my Bun-Bun”.