Friday, March 11, 2011
"Bugabugabugabugabuga and Mommy Bugabuga and Baby Bugabuga and bugabugabugabuga." We had no idea what Baby A was talking about. What is a Bugabuga? Whatever it was, we needed to know. Whoever it was, they meant something to her. So many days we would notice that she slipped away to hide under a table or chair, surrounded by her ducks and fish. But on this day, she made eye contact and said, "Bugabuga." Time slowed as I stared into my baby's eyes. It was the first time that she initiated eye contact. "Bugabuga?" I said, so confused. She smiled and nodded yes. My heart started pounding. I clutched one of her plastic fish so hard that it made a squeaking noise. My hand was shaking as I reached out and said, "Show me." She grabbed my hand and pulled me to the bedroom by the dresser. "Bugabuga!" OMG! She's communicating with me! I felt my Adrenalin kick in. What the hell is she talking about? Hurry! Figure it out! Don't lose this opportunity. "Bugabuga?" "Yes, Mommy! Bugabuga!" I dropped down to my knees so that I am at eye level, our noses are almost touching. I'm wildly looking around. What is Bugabuga? I grab a duck. "Bugabuga?" "No, Mommy! Bugabuga!" I grab a new toy fish. "No!" Damn it! Think! Think! I grab a book about caterpillars. "Bugabuga?" She giggled. I feel my eyes burn with tears. She was giggling. I will fill the whole house with bugabugas if it gives me my baby. I touched everything in the room for 20 minutes straight to no avail. Bugabuga was no where to be found. I was perplexed. She began to cry with frustration. I was right there with her.
The next day therapy started and I hear her say to the ABA specialist, "Bugabuga!" Eye contact and smile. The therapist calls us over to see this and we talk about Bugabuga. He doesn't have a clue. We poled her school and the other therapists, no one knew. I read every single book that we owned, about 150. No Bugabugas. We spoke with the therapists again. She could be stimming, she might like the way the sounds feel in her mouth. "No!" I was adamant. She's telling me something. I'm just not understanding yet.
A month past and every day she talks about Bugabuga. The professionals are convinced that she is stimming. I'm was so sure that she was communicating. I'm starting to doubt myself. I walk into their bedroom and start cleaning up their toys. I'm touching every toy again to see if I missed one, "Come on Bugagbuga!" She runs in the room with her wide gait, so unbalanced, like she just learned how to walk when in reality she's been walking for almost two years. She throws herself into my arms and hugs me with all her might and looks at me, smiles. "Mommy Bugabuga!" I smile and say, "Baby Bugabuga!" She giggles and runs away. I jump up to chase her and I suddenly hear Bugabugabugabugabugabuga! I look at the TV. Dora the Explorer is on and there is a baby lady bug, a bugabuga, that is lost. I scream and my husband comes running. "Bugabuga! " She comes running in, thinking that I am calling her. I give her a huge hug. She was telling us a story. She WAS communicating! My bugabuga hit a new milestone. From that day forward, her nickname was Bugabuga.