The other day, EC told me that when she grows up, she wants to be a Mommy just like me. What a sweet compliment. But then, I'm the person she spends most of her time with and, therefore, the one she's most likely to imitate. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right? Not always, sometimes, I think its the sincerest reminder that you have to watch what you say.
The girls are having nap time now. This means that EC has fallen fast asleep and LR is crying and fighting the urge to close her eyes. However, before EC fell asleep, I overheard the following:
EC: LR, do you want a timeout? You can't do that. You're gonna get a timeout. Is that what you want, a timeout?
EC: Okay, you're in timeout.
EC: Stop running around your crib, you're in a timeout!
Imitating me giving a timeout is fine, but a little scary when I think of all the words that come out of my mouth in a given day and whether or not I want to hear them from my three-year-old. Not just words, but EC makes an exasperated sound like, "Urrrrgggghhhh!" when she's frustrated. This is a sound that she could only have learned from me. Its harmless enough, but I wince every time I hear it thinking that this is how I've taught her to deal with her frustration.
She picks up on these small things that you think she's too young to notice. Every time she does it, I think of all the stuff that I teach her every day that has nothing to do with letters or shapes or turning dirt into mud and I vow to be a happier, more loving person. Because, that is really what I want her to learn from me - that she is loved and that I want her to be happy.