Repeated Language

My daughter is at that exciting age of starting to pick up so many words I can no longer keep track of all the ones she can say. She’s gone from using only a few words to coming out with some two and three word phrases, and the odd full sentence. All this has happened in only a couple of weeks and I am constantly being amazed at what she comes out with. It’s fantastic experiencing her communicating what she wants in words instead of using grunts and finger pointing.

But in all the fun I noticed that she’s not only repeating words but also tone of voice. Occasionally she mirrors the way I, and others, speak to her. Sometimes it’s funny but there are also a few rude awakenings of how I actually speak to her. And here I was thinking I wasn’t such a bossy mum. Ha! How wrong I was.

The best one came out the other day. I often say to her ‘come on’ when I need to do things like change her nappy or if I’m trying to coerce her into getting in the car. I actually didn’t realize I say ‘come on’ so much until I ran her bath the other night. While I was getting her gear together she stood at the shower door (ours is a shower/bath). She put her hand against the door and said to me ‘Come on,’ with a tone that implied she’d been waiting for me for hours. It was more like a ‘Come ooooooooon!.’

It led us to have a discussion about this at playgroup. After telling my story another woman explained that when her son is being pushed in the pram and she stops for some reason he says ‘keep moving.’ Another woman explained that when she’s angry she sometimes calls her daughter a ‘bitch.’ She said that one day her daughter was looking at herself in the mirror and said ‘bitch’ in the same tone. She hastily added that it promptly stopped her from saying ‘bitch’ anymore.

I guess there’s nothing like having your speech mirrored to you that makes you realize just what you’re saying and how you’re saying it. What are some of the things your kids have come out with that you’d probably prefer not to have heard? Or that you possibly didn’t even know you were saying?

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