If you’ve been a mom for more than two months, you may have noticed how your kids watch, remember, and repeat everything. Sheesh, even before two months, they do that sticking-out-their-tongue-when-you-do thing.
Sometimes this is a good thing and sometimes not so good – but it’s almost always good for a laugh.
Last night, my son sat at the dinner table and thanked us for everything he could think of. “Mom, thanks for cutting my cheesy triangles (quesadillas). Thanks dad for getting me some craisins. Thanks me for putting the watermelon on my plate. Thanks mom for making dinner. Thanks dad for letting me say the prayer.” Then he said, “Hey, mom, isn’t there anything you want to thank me for?” Hmmm, wonder where he learned that?
Another story. Some necessary background: We have this problem that our neighborhood lot sizes are very narrow and our neighbors have lots of cars (and friends with cars) who are always parking in front of our house. I can live with that but I loose it when one of them blocks our driveway. What beats all though is that one day, we put our garbage cans out a little early and while we were gone to church, someone moved the garbage can up on our lawn so they could park their car in front of our house and block our driveway. As I was maneuvering the driveway pull in, I said, “You have GOT to be kidding me!” (Pretty tame for what I was thinking.) Immediately, Joey tuned in. “What mom? What have you got to be kidding me about? What?” He wouldn’t let me off the hook so I told him what was bothering me. Keep in mind that this happened at least four months ago – maybe longer.
This last week, I was talking on the phone and Joey was out in the front yard. A friend of a neighbor pulls up in front of our house and proceeds to block our driveway. He gets out of the car and walks across the street. Before I know it, Joey is chasing him. I’m yelling, “Joey, come here. What are you doing?” He’s ignoring me. He’s on a mission. I don’t hear everything that’s going on but the gist of it is that my five-year-old is letting this guy have it, “That is MY house and you can’t park in front of it – especially in front of my driveway.” The guy is NOT laughing. I’m trying to reel Joey in and smile sheepishly at the guy. He can tell Joey means it though and he moves the car.
Kids watch and imitate in a magnified way that just highlights your imperfections. When have your kids watched and imitated you in a hysterical or embarrassing way? Does the magnification of your flaws change your behavior? I try to be so careful but it can’t prevent all embarrassment. They’re bound to repeat something you’ve said or thought at some inopportune time. The best thing to do is just remember, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.