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Out of the mouths of babes...

February 8, 2011 - Jennifer Brookens
Last year, we would've given anything to have our son try to talk instead of just screaming at us. Now he's become a little myna bird, repeating every phrase he hears incessantly. Not always a good thing.

He seems to take great delight in talking "down" to his sister, considering she feels the need to chime in when he's being punished. When she kept sneaking up from the dinner table to keep tabs on some TV show the other night, I ordered, "Sit down!" "Sit. DOWN! Sit. DOWN!" came my orderly little echo. Repeated about five times, until we say, "That's enough," and then he gets one more in for good measure before getting back to dinner.

After having a little friend over for the weekend, his favorite phrase was "C'mon! C'mon!" And catching the tail end of Mom or Dad talking, he might recite the last phrase he catches, like "Unn-REAL!"

Then, there is one of those words you don't WANT your kids to hear, and they latch on. It happened when my husband was playing Nintendo, and let out a small (thank goodness it was a small) curse. Sure enough, the Boy caught it, and repeated. We were silent. If we keep quiet and don't respond, will he forget it? A few night later, Dad was playing the same game, got blown up, and the Boy said the word, unprompted. Uh-oh. Now what? What if he lets that one go at Daycare or preschool, what kind of trouble will he see? Will we be called into question? It doesn't help that older sister giggles like crazy when it happens.

In any sense, it's obviously time for all of us to clean up our language. Perhaps I need to leave some soap dispensers by the Nintendo counsel, just in case.

 
 

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