Toddlers: A Reflection of Yourself
Do you want to get an accurate view of what you are really like? If you recently had a baby, or if you are readying to have a baby soon, just wait. As your baby reaches toddlerhood and starts talking and moving around more independently, you will suddenly be forced to have a look at your own mannerisms as they start to appear in your child.
Watch What You Say!
Sometimes it will be cute, like when my daughter toddled up next to me at the bathroom sink and tried to brush her hair right alongside me. On other occasions you might stumble upon the realization that maybe you shouldn’t say “Dang it!” quite so loudly (or whatever your choice words are when upset). You might not think “Dang it!” is such a bad saying, but once you hear it come out of a one year old’s mouth you begin to realize that maybe it’s time to tame up your expletives even further.
By the way, to this day I still say, “Oh, peanut butter!” when I get mad, but I digress.
Mimicking is How Baby Learns
When my daughter was around 15 months old I noticed that every time she would go to sit down on the couch she would let out a loud, “Oye!” At first I thought this was hilarious and marveled at how cute she was. Then it dawned on me that she sounded a lot like my grandmother, which was confusing since my daughter had only spent limited time with her since we live in another state. Then I had the realization that my mother said the same thing when she would sit down, but this still didn’t make much sense since they live in another state too.
I’m sure by now many of you know where I’m going with this story.
So there I was, readying to plop onto the couch to read a story to my toddler daughter, and out it came from my own mouth: “Oye!” I probably wouldn’t have noticed it had my daughter not immediately plopped right down next me and echoed what I had exclaimed. It suddenly became very clear why my itty bitty daughter sounded like an old woman when she sat on the couch. It was because I did, and she was mimicking what she heard.
Needless to say that was the day I made a conscious effort to stop sounding like an eighty year old woman every time I put my feet up. I’m glad that I’ve managed to not pass anything along to her that is vulgar or mean, but I’m glad she stopped with the “Oye!” thing.
You can look in a mirror all you want, but if your baby is nearing toddlerhood get ready to see a very accurate reflection of who you are.