As my three-year-old stomped on the floorboard of the plastic car attached to my shopping cart, he screamed, “This is ree-DIC-ulous!” It was over some candy or toy that I was saying NO to. Of course, you know what I was thinking…“this is ridiculous!” He also says things like, “I’ll be with you in just a minute, Mommy, I’m busy [watching cartoons] right now,” and “Can you just leave me alone for one minute?!”
It’s amazing and a little bit frightening what they repeat in and out of context. The imitation factor makes me want to straighten up and fly right and really pay attention to what I’m saying. And why is it that they love to imitate the absolute worst of you? I mean, we moms spend so much time trying to set the right example, show them how to do things and handle people kindly and respectfully, but they seem attracted to everything you wish they’d miss. One friend of mine explained to me that the times we say things the wrong way are different than all the other times, so they stand out to the kids.
I guess I shouldn’t worry too much. I noticed all the great things my folks said and did, and for the most part, I fancy myself to be a pretty good reflection of them. Then again, I do catch myself saying things that I swore I’d never repeat. Such as, “Why can’t I have any nice things?” and “How many times have I told you?” and “Can’t we just keep this room neat for five minutes?” and the words most dreaded by any why-asker, “because I SAID so!”
So, should we just be ourselves and hope they remember the good above the bad? And know that the bad stuff will make an interesting topic of discussion with their therapist? What has your kid repeated that surprised you?
To end on a sweet note, today my one year old daughter picked up her baby doll, cradled it in her arms, said, “Nigh Nigh Baybee,” then kissed it on the top of the head so gently while continuing to rock gently back and forth. There’s hope yet. There’s hope yet.
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