You definitely don’t have to tell me that kids are little parrots. They seem to pick up on everything, even when you think they’re “not paying attention”. It’s one of those “learning by osmosis” kind of things that little kids tend to be so good at.
Sometimes it’s annoying. Like you say a bad word one time and your two-year-old goes around repeating it for a week. It’s a good kind of annoying, though, I guess. It tends to make you more aware of your actions and provides an ever-present reminder of the responsibility of parenthood.
Then there’s the other kind of “parroting”. Or, more accurately, imitating. That sort of “monkey see, monkey do” type of thing. To me, this kind is a little more intimidating. It starts young, like, I don’t know, say newborn age. And it doesn’t really end until adulthood. But it’s probably, at least in my opinion, the strongest (or at least most noticeable) in the toddler / preschooler stage.
Ever since Hunter was a baby he would imitate things he saw me do (from talking on the phone to combing my hair) but he had seemed to have “grown out of” the more obvious imitating lately. Now, he still definitely picks up on attitudes (like, er, being grouchy) but when it comes to repeating every little thing I do, he hasn’t really been doing that too much.
Recently, however, he has been in full-throttle again. Yesterday, we were heating up leftovers for lunch, and after leaving the room, I came back in and noticed that my food was done but the time never finished. Thinking it weird but brushing it to the side, I put Hunter’s in, which he intently watched, and then when it got down to about 15 seconds he stopped it. “What are you doing?” I asked.
“Taking it out, like Brandon does.”
Brandon, humorously, usually will just put the microwave on for a random, high amount of time (like 10 minutes) and then just take the food out whenever he thinks it’s done. I had to laugh that Hunter had picked up on this and decided to follow along.
Then this morning Hunter was sent into the bathroom to wash up after breakfast, and after a few minutes Brandon went in there to see what was taking so long, and found this (picture to right). He’s smiling in this picture, but he was so embarrassed when we first found him. His reaction to getting “caught” was probably the funniest part, he was so ready to shave, razor-in-hand and all.
“Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children…”
Hunter is 4 years, 7 months old