David has recently taken to wearing a lanyard around his neck. When Andrew noticed he was using the metal nametag clip as a makeshift whistle, of course we had to find a whistle for him to attach.
In the interest of full disclosure, let me first say that this particular lanyard was "borrowed" from our church after the service a few weeks ago. David had removed and discarded the nametag, but would not leave the building without the blue lanyard around his neck. I would guess that it is really on permanent loan from the All Saints lanyard collection, because it doesn't seem prudent to allow a lanyard back into church with a whistle attached and, in all likelihood, David is not going to tolerate the lanyard going back into the building without it.
I am not sure why David is so enamored with his orange whistle because originally he would not even touch it to his lips; he would just purse his lips about an inch away from the whistle and blow air in that general direction, but usually with enough force to emit a steady sound. (Who knows where that whistle has been, anyway?) Plus, the rules according to David stipulate that it cannot be blown too loudly because, "That's too scary."
Just a few days ago, David added a second lanyard with three keys attached—front and back storm door keys that have been rarely used, usually only to keep David from hyper-extending the doors when we are outside playing. I have no idea where he acquired that second lanyard, although I must confess that it is strangely similar to the first one.
I really think David is enjoying pretending, but exactly what he is pretending to be is up for debate. Andrew thinks he is imitating the P.E. teacher, but I can't quite put my finger on it. He waves his arms, but uses very crisp staccato motions that are part basketball coach, part air traffic controller, and part traffic cop assuming that particular police officer learned to direct traffic at a school for mimes.
I also think that the whistle makes David feel in control. He will hold up his hands, get everyone's attention and we will wait, like musicians in anticipation for the first downbeat from the conductor. It would seem that he has developed signals for different activities—three short toots means that we are excused and can go about our business, or that we are released from the car and can open the car doors. Great, in addition to an iPad, PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System), and sign language, David has developed his own communication system, a type of whistling Morse code.
Toot. Toot. Toot.