Little YY is now pushing 22 months old. Can’t hardly believe the time has whooshed by like that. It was just yesterday – actually, nearly 22 months ago but who’s counting? – that the little tyke popped out of his momma’s belly and screeched to the world that he wanted to get back in, it was so warm and comfortable in there. Doctors, fluoroscent lights, surgical equipment, the weary world cacophony, and all the caterwauling and drugs (for X) and tears (for Y) and so on and so forth – what a rude introduction to this planet.
And little did he know that he was about to become one of us. One of us!
He’s becoming more and more like that these days. Becoming one of us means imitation. You know the old saying, imitation is the sincerest flattery. Or something to that effect. It also can be the most dangerous. The reason for that is multifold – and primarily because no matter what we do as parents, he will watch and learn and start to imitate.
Monkey see, monkey do. That’s ri-i-i-ight. Almost as precisely as his father – in other words, me – imitates various actors in various movies. “You talkin’ to me?” “You find me funny?” “Bonasera, Bonasera… what have I done to have you treat me so disrespectfully?” and my personal favourite: “Awwwwwwwl RIGHTY, then!”
So, little YY sits there at the table, watching us. We’re usually running about, doing our stuff, engaging in loveable horseplay, and every so often, I’ll have my head up my arse and X will whack me across the shoulder as a message to pull my head out of my arse.
Until now. I realize that little YY will see this and realize that violence is OK. So she’s stopped. She only whacks me when he’s not looking. And she’s careful to check, too. So she’s not so off-the-cuff – she is precise in whacking me like that.
And language? Yes. Little YY has become very adept at language. He’s becoming bilingual – Portuguese as well as English – and he points to his mouth and says “Mmwaaooh?” Points to his eye: “Aye-EEEEE!” Points to his nose: “Nariz! NARIZ!!” He wants water: “Agoooooooo-AH!” He’s finished whatever he’s doing: “Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwl DONE!”
Very cool. This means one thing and one thing only: No more F-bombs and no more S-bombs. We’re very, very careful about that. We wonder if he learns this stuff from TV as well. It could well be possible. So we’re careful about it all.
Monkey see, monkey do. That’s right. We are getting to that age where we actually have to watch what we do and say around our little imitation machine. We actually have to be role models now.
Role models? Us? Good lord. Lots of work to be done, to be sure.