His shirt may say Leo but that’s the last thing he wants to be called. For the last couple of weeks Leo has asked to be called several different “characters.” So far he’s been:
The Goalie (that’s the most popular one)
Soccer Goalie (similar to The Goalie but don’t confuse the two)
Gordon (one of Thomas’ the Train’s friends)
The Football Player
The Basketball Player
It was cute at first. Downright amusing. But now it’s gotten out of control. His characters dominate our lives. When people call him Leo he stomps his feet, throws a full-on tantrum and screams, “NO I AM THE GOALIE!!”
I’ve been drilling it into his head to say “Please call me Goalie” and just today he’s starting to catch on. This is affecting his interactions with his friends, my friends, strangers we see at the grocery store. A lady asked him in the checkout line today if his name was Leo or if that was his sign (because of his shirt). Imagine what she must have thought when he screamed, “NO I AM THE GOALIE!” I knew it had all gone too far when yesterday, the people who work at the YMCA play center actually wrote “Baby Ryan” on his name tag since that’s who he wanted to be. And today, his babysitter Ms. Noel covered up “Leo” on his shirt with “The Goalie.”
Now I will answer some FAQs about Leo (I mean “Baby” which is who he is right now) and his many personalities:
1. Does he have a new one every day?
Actually, he changes them throughout the day. Often he’s up to five different people in one day.
2. How do you know when he changes into another one?
For most of them he will say, “Mama say ‘Hi, Baby” (or whichever character he’s turned into). For Mr. Conductor, though, he’ll just suddenly say, “Tickets, please!”
3. Why is everyone “The” except Mr. Conductor?
Mr. Conductor is how the dinosaurs on Dinosaur train refer to the conductor. I don’t know why everyone else is “The.” He’s actually somewhat flexible with “the.” We are allowed to just say “Goalie” or “Pilot.”
4. Does he act like these characters?
He doesn’t act like any of them except Baby and Baby Ryan. For those he crawls around, cries and says things like, “I can’t talk. I am a baby.”
5. Who is Baby Ryan?
My friend Chantal’s baby. When Leo assumes Baby Ryan’s identity, he says that Ryan is Baby Leo.
6. Does he make kids and toddlers call him these names?
Yes. John is on board with it. All through sports class he called Leo "Goalie.” But everyone else is just confused. Bianca calls him “Ee-oh” and he freaks out on her. She’s just 21 months old!
7. What about if you’re just talking about him? Do you still have to use the character name?
Absolutely. He will catch you from the next room if you slip up. He even caught Bianca’s mom saying “Leo” and she was speaking Romanian!
8. At what point will you seek professional help?
I think if we’re moving him into his dorm room and he insists that the sign on his door says, “The Goalie,” then we’ll consider it.