When Nick was born everyone had their own names for him. His sisters called him Nicky. His mother called him, “little man.” His big brother called him, “big K.” His Father called him, “Kicker;” and his uncle Josiah called him “Boss.” When the would look down at him in his playpen his sisters would squeeeeal and say, “Wook at ouw wittew Nicky-poo!” Something he found a little demeaning, so he would wail anytime they came near. When mom would feed him she would say, “that’s my good little man.” Because she fed him, he said very little by way of complaint. When his big brother Dean would tickle him, which was silly because Nick was far too little to enjoy being tickled at this point, he would squirm and grumble. Dean would say, “what’s the matter Big K?” Then Nick would scream for help, and mom would come rushing. When he was playing on his activity mat with his feet flailing in the air dad would kneel over him and say, “that’s my little kicker.” To prove him right he always gave Dad a good square kick in the jaw. And when Uncle Josiah would carry him and say, with his best mobster underbite, “What’s the woid, boss?” Well Nick just thought that was silly, so he would stick his tongue out and make the toughest face he could muster.
The truth was though, that Nick didn’t like any of these names. He just wanted to be called Nick. He was unfortunately to little to say anything, when he tried his tongue it just wobbled in his mouth, and made these bubbling gurgle sounds. So he waited, and worked. Every day he would watch his family talking, and try to imitate their motions. He would squirm, and stutter, but every day he felt more defeated as speech eluded him.
On day he was playing on the floor, and saw mom headed toward him, a big grin split his face. Then he noticed from the corner of his eye something else. Three bouncing blond girls, and one spiky boy, were bounding his way. He panicked, what could he do? Then another flash, a tall lanky shape was lumbering to his rear. They were all coming for him at once. What could he do? They were coming nearer, and nearer. Soon they would be upon him with their squeezing, and crushing, and they would call him those awful names. His eyes darted around, and around. Suddenly he let out a loud, long yell. . . .
to be continued