Little ears and little eyes see everything and Kent and I find ourselves asking "Where did Isaac learn that?" only to discover it was from us. Classic instance, when Kent tickles Isaac and they have a wrestling match, he will in jest say, "Knock that off!" When Isaac was just learning to speak his first full phrase was exactly that, "Knock that off!" but without the teasing tone and to our utter dismay, it was always clear as a bell. We often find ourselves apologizing for words or phrases that would never have bothered us before because coming out the wrong mouth with an utterly different tone seems to reflect a verbally abusive upbringing. (which I'm sure all of you know is totally not true ... or maybe somewhat untrue ... ;0)
I once had the gall to judge a parent by what their child said, I'm not so quick to do so now. After all ... Kids say the darndest things! Children have such a way of pointing out the worst in you - and they do it with such grace. Never is there the 'I told you so' tone or any demeaning words, but nothing is clearer then when you see yourself imitated in such exactness you can't help but know it is you.
On the up side though is when you do see your child imitating you in an act of kindness or love, nothing could be sweeter. I'm grateful for my little mirror who teaches me in the most loving and effective way possible.
Below are some pictures of Isaac imitating his clean freak Mama. We've never had him wash dishes before, but after playing tent and camping with his panda, I asked him to "clean his dishes" to give me a minute of free time. It was too quiet - the ominous sign of something new being explored. I found him in the hall bathroom, he'd dumped nearly half the bottle of hand soap on his frying pan and with a giant wad of toilet paper was vigorously scrubbing! I had to laugh.