Hearing yourself through a toddler

IMG_3658Now that June is two and a half, she says all sorts of funny stuff. She cracks us up everyday. Even though 80 percent of what she says is parroting us, it just sounds better coming from the mouth of a two year old.

A few of my favorites:

  • “Lets wock this town!”  She unveiled this early 90s classic on her grandmother the other day as the two of them were leaving the house to go grocery shopping. And they did — they wocked Walmart so hard that day.
  • “Aaaaaare yoooooouuuu ready to ruuuuuuuumble?” I taught her this one to get her in the right headspace for checking the chickens and other anti-fun obligations. Now she says it before potty time. I’m not sure what to read into this.
  • “No, Mommy, I’m chicken my email.” She reserves this one for when she’s co-opted the iPad and refuses to give it back and is usually accompanied by a lot of battering of keys
  • “Friiiiiidey, Friiiidey, gittin’ down on Friiidey…..kickin’ in the front seat, sittin’ the back seat…..”  I’m not proud of this one, but Jake and I went through a brief (very brief) period where we watched a lot of Rebecca Black’s infamous “Friday” video. We didn’t realize our impressionable child was at our feet absorbing and digesting every hackneyed word that she now sings back to us on a somewhat consistent basis.
  • “Okay, lets take a bwake.” She tactfully deploys this one on the tail end of a serious tickle session with Daddy or when he’s launching her into air at high velocities. Whereas I other toddlers would probably start crying during such torture sessions, June is oh-so diplomatic about it.

And then there are those things she says that send chills down my spine. You know the ones I’m talking about? Where your kid mimics exactly the way you speak and it’s the first time in your life you’re faced with how truly awful you sound?

She said something the other night that made me shiver.

We were playing Memory in her bedroom. June is very into laying the cards face down in a grid pattern herself. This task must make her feel grown up and in charge or something but as she started laying down the cards, she said, ” Okay. So…..”

Now, to get the full effect of June’s tone as she said it, imagine Patti Stanger from Millionaire Matchmaker ripping the latest rich, schlubby bachelor a new one for not following her latest fashion advice: “Okay, so….you’re like really fat? And those pants aren’t doing you any favors? Did you or did you not go to Banana Republic like I told you to? No? Okay, so, then there’s, like, no hope for you.”

June’s tone was clipped and bossy and grating and it was me! It was my voice, my tone coming through. There was no mistaking or denying it.  I wanted to slither into a cave. I told Jake about it later and asked him if I really sound like that.

“Mmm….sometimes?” he said.

Thanks, thanks a lot.

Ever since that day, I notice my tone has altered a bit. Now when June and I talk, I try to sound a little more effervescent, a little less down to business, a little more fun loving and casual. In practice, this means I probably sound like a cross between Glinda and Good Witch and Taylor Swift on their way to an ice cream social in the Enchanted Forest. I’m not convinced this is any better than Patti Stanger, but I’d prefer not to raise a 2 year old with an edge as sharp as a battle axe.

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