Monkey See, Monkey Do


Monkey See, Monkey DoAt 17-months of age, our little Fern has entered the “monkey see, monkey do” phase of toddler development.

I knew it was coming, but it still sort of caught me by surprise the first time she very intentionally copied me.

Most of the time her mimicking is endearing… like when she grabs her own comb out of the bathroom drawer to comb her hair when she sees me doing mine, or when she wants to grab one of my brushes and “do her own makeup” when she sees me applying it. She’s also copying words like a champ these days and has quickly learned that saying “payyyy!” (AKA “please”) is a surefire way to get whatever you want immediately and that saying “ahhh duhh!” (AKA “all done”) will get you out of your high chair lickety split. It’s pretty sweet.

But then again, I’ve no doubt that there will inevitably come some less than cute copy-catting. Like the other day when my husband was shouting his anger and disagreement over a soccer match on TV and Fern started copying his ramped up sounds and gestures. Of course none of this included recognizable words, but the intent was there and she’s been showing us that she is always (always) watching our every move.

As such we have entered the “mind your P’s and Q’s” phase of parental development, the one where we have to watch all our less attractive words and actions in an effort to keep them from being transmitted to this sweet little thing.

While it will definitely be a challenge at times, I’m actually glad for the self-betterment that this will be inadvertently bring about. All of the less than lovely words and actions that come out of my mouth probably aren’t usually worth saying anyway.

So, I guess I should probably just say thanks to my toddler, for yet another way that she will be making me a better person.


Lauren Hartmann is the founder of The Little Things We Do, a blog about life and adventures in Portland Oregon. Follow her on TwitterFacebookPinterest and Instagram or catch up on all of her posts here on Babble. More from Lauren: