Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Problem with Parrots

Joy likes to repeat things she hears. This isn't anything new. Luckily, I have been more aware of things I'm personally saying and have watched myself more since she came around.

Sometimes, she hears things from TV shows or other people and repeats them.

At times, those repeats shock me. "Let's play tag!" she announced one day, when we'd never played it before. I'm not sure who introduced tag to her, but she hadn't been around anyone a day or two prior that I figured would have played with her. Was it a TV show? I have no idea.

Recently, as we were out for a walk and she didn't want to head home, I decided to tell her, "You can't catch me!" and speed walk to distract her. It worked. She giggled as she hurried behind me, finally tagging me and calling me "it." But before long, she decided she wanted to play "Hide and Go Seek," which was another game she brought up that I had no idea she knew what it was. Granted, she tends to play it more like Peek-a-Boo than Hide and Go Seek, but I was surprised she'd heard of it anyway. She stopped at a bush and called out, "One, two, three, four, five... ready or not, here I come!" Joe and I were cracking up.

Those parroting moments bring me a lot of entertainment. But what bothers me is when she hears on her TV shows or wherever else things I'd rather she didn't say. Hearing her parrot the Lord's name in vain makes me cringe. I have sat down with her and told her that while some people say that, we don't. And I tell her why. I even give her an alternate thing to say, such as, "Oh my goodness!" I think it has finally gotten through to her, because I haven't caught her saying that for a while, when it seemed to be a regular thing for a while there.

What are some of her favorite exclamations right now? "I did it! I did it!" And this is usually followed by an, "I did it all by myself!" She's so proud of her accomplishments, from finishing a puzzle, eating her food, putting her toys away, or something else. She also likes, "That is so amazing!" or some other similar exclamation using the word. She likes to exclaim about how "high" or "tall" or "big" or "beautiful" or "cute" things are as well, often with an enthusiastic "Wow!" thrown in there.

Sometimes I wish I could keep her in a bubble.