Sunday, March 3, 2013

When Life Imitates Life

The other day I caught Henry with my cell phone. In and of itself, this is not news. Toddlers love cell phones. Phones are shiny, have flashy lights and make fun beeping sounds. Some, like my crapberry, even have buttons. Ooooooh.

Rayne, my sister and my parents are all on my speed dial; Henry has called each of them at least once. He once, unbeknownst to me, left Rayne a minute-and-a-half long voicemail: "Gaga gahh ga ga! Dada dada dada dah!" He's also managed to assign a speed dial number to a friend whom I rarely call -- and has called her twice.

Let's face it: flashy lights and pressy buttons are awesome. But most of all, your phone -- with its limitless access to the World Wide Interwebs -- has your attention. And your toddler wants desperately to understand and possess the object of your fascination.

By now I'm accustomed to Henry's obsession with my phone. The other day, however, was different. He was pacing the apartment, holding the phone to his ear and talking happily away.

"Gaga gaga gah gah. Dah ma ga ga gah?" Pace. Pace. Pace. "Ga gah??"

He paused his string of babble long enough to ... I don't know what. He wasn't actually talking to anyone; he was just imitating mommy.

Pacing on the phone is something I am wont to do, something I have always done. I walk and talk with the phone to my ear, pausing to listen to what the person on the other end of the line has to say.

"Gaga gah?" Pause. Pause. Pause. He listened. "Dah dada dah dah!!" He responded. Pace. Pace. Pace.

I'll admit it: watching Henry so blatantly imitate me freaked me out. It's just the beginning of the many habits and mannerisms -- good and bad -- he will learn from me. The crushing sense of responsibility is matched only by my awe at how much this little boy has learned in 14 short months.

Hello, I'd like to place an order for some more Puffs.

What habits -- good or bad -- have you noticed your child pick up?