I’ve always been a pretty verbal person. I’m sure my mom would tell you I started talking sometime between her 2nd and 3rd trimesters. I’ve always been a voracious reader and, because I can’t even pay my babysitters without a calculator and some serious “carrying of the one”, I do crossword puzzles because words are my forte. Still, having a toddler has added more words and phrases to my lexicon than I ever could have imagined.
My son Dylan is now 2 years and (almost) 4 months old. He jabbers like his mom (and, dad). He’s still learning to form sentences, and when he can’t think of words and the gibberish just won’t cut it, he falls back on “dinosaur fire truck.” But, what he says is not what is shocking to me, it’s the words coming out of my own mouth.
Not only do I repeat things my mom said about being careful and not touching things and, generally, warning of the dangers of having fun, I also say things like “Kiddo, you can’t shove that in the Blu-Ray player”, “No, mommy doesn’t have your booger” and – a personal favorite – “please don’t poop in the tub!” Once you say “please don’t poop in the tub”, you no longer have any shame. When you say it more than once in one bath session, it’s officially game over.
We’ve learned a lot about ourselves from being parents, including these oh-so-charming phrases. I’ve also learned (though I pretty much knew it already), that I’m a worry wart. I caught myself saying “careful, please” five different times while I cooked his dinner last night. Already, he tunes it out. But, he’s getting the important messages. If I whisper to him “I have a secret”, he always replies “I love you”. That’s a phrase worth repeating.
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