One thing that hasn't changed as Smunch has grown up is that he loves to have me come talk to him before he goes to sleep at night. So, I come in and snuggle in next to him. The conversation always starts out the same:
Smunch: What are we doing tomorrow?
This goes on and on through each day of the week. He'll go through two weeks at a time if I let him. Tonight, he got bored at Tuesday. That meant we stopped at Mercedes and the conversation turned to stuttering because she is his stuttering specialist.
About a week and a half ago, Smunch had a bad experience where he went to ask the older sister of one of his baseball teammates for a drink. He had trouble asking. Both she and her friend laughed at him. It was hard to tell if it got to him or not, but over time, it's become clear that it did.
Smunch: Why did she laugh at me?
Me: Well, she probably just doesn't understand what it's like to stutter and how hard you were working to talk to her.
Smunch: Yeah, she doesn't know what it's like.
Me: But, you know, there are like 5 million people who stutter in the United States.
Smunch: 5 MILLION???!
Me: (oops, I haven't really done my homework) Something like that. Definitely more than a million.
Smunch: How many are there in China?
Me: I have no idea, Smunch. I'm not really sure how many there are, but I'll go look it up after I go talk to Mam.
Smunch: Will you come back and tell me?
Fortunately, Mam had already passed out, so I went right to the National Stuttering Association website and returned to report to Smunch.
Me: O.K. So, 3 million people in the United States stutter. And guess what? Fifty million people in the whole world stutter.
Smunch: Cool. (big smile)
Me: So you're NOT alone, right? Lots and lots of people out there stutter.
Smunch: Yeah. And I bet they wouldn't laugh at me, huh? (still smiling)