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Copy Brat

20 Aug

A little while back I ran a series of posts about my son’s increasing vocabulary and my attempts to decipher his mangled pronunciations.

The series petered out; not because I’m lazy (maybe a little) but because my son’s language skills are developing too fast to make those posts sustainable.

The dude knows too many words. Even worse, he can now repeat back just about everything we say.

Gulp.

toddlers, learning, development, parenting

He’s learning too fast. His enunciation isn’t quite perfect, of course, but in most cases it’s close enough that even a non-parent can probably make it out. It’s great fun to watch him pick up several new words a day, and to recognize objects and be able to name them, but there’s a lot of risk involved.

His ability to reproduce the things my wife and I say right after we say them is terrifying. It’s like living with Rain Man. You talk shit about someone when they leave the room, then when they get back Dustin Hoffman is innocently repeating the exact thing you just said right to their faces. BUSTED.

And t’s not just words he throws back at us; it’s gestures we make along with those words, and even our tone of voice. If he hears my wife and I yell, even though he can’t understand the context (I hope, or else he’s gonna have some real issues about doing the dishes), he immediately raises his own voice and starts yelling himself. Yelling gibberish, or chiming in with an enthusiastic “Yoooooooo GABBA GABBA!,” so content wise it’s harmless, but it still makes you realize how much your actions influence your kids.

He slaps his knee when he laughs because that’s what his daycare teacher does. He does a golf clap because that’s what his uncle does. He holds his guitar over his head because that’s what his daddy does when he’s buzzed and being an idiot.

parenting, dads, role model, bad example

He hears things. He sees things. He REMEMBERS things. We’ve even had to start spelling words but we can’t even remember to do that most of the time, idiots that we are. I’m seriously starting to suspect that he’s smarter than me.

His accelerating development has forced MomandBuried and I to alter our own behavior. And that is tricky.

I mean, we’ve been kicking around for over three decades and now we’ve got to switch things up because our two-year-old is learning too fast? How humiliating. And we’re annoyed that he’s learning quickly? We’re bad people. But we’re trying.

And I’d be lying if I didn’t say there were some perks. Like the fact that I can teach him funny things, like a circus elephant. I even taught him to respond to “Who’s better than you?” with a hearty “NOBODY!” That’s a crowd-pleaser. So even though we have to check around the corners before speaking freely, like we live in Downton Abbey or something, it’s not all bad. It complicates our lives, but what aspect of having a kid doesn’t?

Besides, when I ask my son about Superman, he starts to sing the theme song. And all is forgiven.

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3 Responses to “Copy Brat”

  1. Daddy's in Charge? August 21, 2012 at 3:39 am #

    They leave me scratching my head everyday with a new word that they pick up. Usually it’s some four word monster that you know has even rattling around in their head just waiting for the right time to use it.

    • Dad and Buried August 21, 2012 at 10:27 am #

      Right, it’s the RETENTION that is most alarming.

      Not only do they spring stuff on you you had no idea they remembered, but you can no longer LIE so easily. “Sure, buddy, we can go to the swings later! (NOT!)” and then, come later, the kid calls you out with a hearty round of “SWING! SWING SWING!” based tantrumming. Ugh.

      They’re so much easier to manipulate and control when they are dumb. Stupid growing up.

  2. ihopeiwinatoaster August 21, 2012 at 1:41 pm #

    When our boys were learning all the sounds animals make; cows “moo,” ducks “quack,” etc., we finally sort of ran out of ideas they assimilated them so fast. In desperation we taught them that a giraffe says “oops, I bumped my head.”
    It still cracks me up but it was really funny when they were two.
    Also, my boys now know how to spell, Pig Latin is too obvious, and we aren’t clever enough or do we remember enough Spanish to use it to communicate, so, sometimes when we don’t want them to know what we are talking about… we text each other. How lame is that?

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