As parents we don’t have to look far to find a reflection of ourselves – our kids pick up so much of who we are right from the start. Nolan starts to pick up on Katie’s habits and she realizes he’ll surely be keeping her in check from now on…
They say that ‘imitation is the sincerest form of flattery’. The ways that my son is imitating my words and actions have become my most adorable form of entertainment, but it also freaks me out! I never expected my child to become a mirror revealing how silly I sound when I answer the phone, and I’m realizing that I’ll have to be more and more careful about what I say, do, and watch with this toddling sponge who is on the verge of talking.
It is truly amazing to watch how young children quickly pick up on the uses for random things and can precisely mimic what they see and hear. At one year-old, my son will put a phone to his head and answer, “HIIYEEEEEE!”. (Guess where that came from!) He’ll put an oven mitt on his hand, bracelet on his wrist, his feet in Daddy’s shoes, and the belt around the back of his neck and shoulders. (We’re not sure where that last one came from.)
Having my own personal imitator has proven to hold me accountable. When my son was just old enough to pull himself up, about seven months old, he picked up the TV remote controller, pointed it at the TV, and began pressing buttons. I get it, I get it, I watch too much TV! I’ve tried to cut back since then. And within the past couple of months, his favorite activity has been holding a real phone, toy phone, or anything remotely shaped like a phone up to his ear and walking around talking about something that sounds extremely important. Okay, maybe I’ve spent too much time on my phone, too!
Perhaps imitating could actually become a very useful act. My little helper loves nothing more than dragging a broom around. I’m thinking, once he gets a little taller and skilled, he can mimic my sweeping around the house as much as he wants! I have also caught him pretending to spray a rug after I spot cleaned the puppy’s accident. And he’s already delighted to help water some of our front yard plants with his own little watering can.
Through the useful, cute, embarrassing, and always funny reflections I see through my child, one thing is clear. I will really have to be aware of my words and actions from now on. Thinking before speaking will have to be an example that I set early on. In the meantime, my camera is on and ready to capture these priceless moments that will make us laugh even more later.