My little Timmy uses his words sparingly. There are days when I have full blown conversations with him while at other times he chooses to answer with single words or by signing. He also intermixes his own words and sounds that he has assigned to specific events or places. Most people don't understand his invented language, but I know exactly what is being conveyed.
A few days ago we were at Open Bounce at a local moon bounce facility. Timmy loves jumping, sliding and running around with new friends. I appreciate that for a mere $5 he is occupied and happy for three hours, allowing me an opportunity to relax a little and tap into the free wi-fi. It is amazing how much work I can knock out during these precious moments of quiet!
After bouncing bouncing with some new little friends for about two hours, some bigger kids (meaning seven) arrived. Timmy continued hopping and playing with the ball with his friends, but soon his pint sized bouncers quickly started to leave the bounce house. I overheard the little jumpers relay the story of the big kids stealing their balls and pushing them down. I immediately set down my computer and walked over to check on Timmy.
I saw Timmy running around the moon bounce holding onto a ball, with a bigger kid chasing him. (My little jumper is fast, but apparently a seven year old can catch him quicker than me.) I watched as the child tried to grab Timmy's ball out of his hands. Timmy had a death grip on the ball, refusing to let go. Timmy was knocked down, and the ball was pried from his clutches.
I was ready to go Mama Bear on the situation, but Timmy beat me to it. He quickly stood up, walked right over to the ball thief, and looked the bully-in-training directly in the eyes. Without missing a beat, and as clear as can be, he said "no you a$$hole" before grabbing his ball and leaving the bouncer.
The older kid ran out of the bounce house right after Timmy, running over to his Mom to report that "the little kid" just called him a bad word. I gave Timmy a fist bump, put on his shoes and headed to Chick-fil-A to play in a new playground. While I'm not delighted with his word choice, I am extremely proud that he isn't afraid to stand up for himself and happy to know that his words can be clear when motivated.