We have a tiny parrot living in our house. Actually she’s not tiny at all, by parrot standards. She’s a hair under 20lbs and 29inches tall. She goes by the name of Avery and boy is she good at repeating what we say.
It’s pretty cool. She’s just at the developmental stage where we say “Say zucchini” and she says “Keeny!” Or “Say Jared Saltalamacchia” and she repeats “Jelly Satamamatsia” It’s fun. It’s like a party trick. At a party we went to last weekend, Avery learned to say “Cake Pop” after consuming two of them. She then went around to Every.Single.Adult at the party asking “Cake Pop?” and shaking her head ‘yes’ as if to say “You ARE getting me another cake pop, don’t even think about asking my mom. Just do it. Cake pop. Now!”
She seems to have a bit of trouble with her “S’s” sometimes the come out a bit “lispy” and sometimes the come out with a “D” sound. So,in the case of the “D” sound, “sky” becomes “Die!” Which isn’t so cool when she points up at airplanes and starts shouting “Pain! Die! Die Pain!!” “Stop” becomes “dop” “Store” sounds like “door” “Stick” turns in to ….well…you get the idea. (She plays her drum and xylophone with “Big big…..*sticks*”)
There are other funny and inappropriate things, like “Fox” her favorite animal (ok, ok, so it’s MY favorite animal and we may have a very large stuffed fox population in our house) She’s improving, but “Fox” often comes out as that 4-letter word that starts with F, that I can’t type here without getting a warning from the FCC. (Not really, they aren’t reading my blog!)
Now, back to the parroting. She repeats what we say. Everything we say. It’s usually really cute. Like when Daisy jumps and she says “NO Daisy, down!” Or “Daisy! Dop it! Dop! Bad!” Or when she picks up a stuffed animal and says “Awww, cute!” or “Ohhh das funny” when we laugh. See? SO.CUTE!! It’s also humorous, and makes you realize that you say certain things or do certain things more than you realized. Apparently I say “DUDE!” a lot. And if you ask Avery “What does Daddy say?” She will tell you that he says “AHCOO!” (He seriously sneeze eleventh billion times a day. Seriously. I’ve counted. It’s ridiculous!”
But then…sometimes…the repeat the things that you THOUGHT you only said occasionally, under your breath.
Example: A few days ago, Avery was bounce, bounce, bouncing on her Gyffy Giraffe. And she started to fall. She said “Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!!” and slowly slid off, and on to the floor. It was then that I heard it. Her adorable, tiny, sweet voice….
At 21 months….my daughter intentionally swore.
I know every parenting book would tell me to say “No, we don’t say that word” and make some sort of stern, disapproving face.
That’s not at all what I did.
What I did do, was laugh. I laughed and laugh and laugh until I almost fell of the couch. “Oh SSSIT!!”
Then I had to sit back and scold myself for saying “Oh *ssit*” in front of her.
I have learned my lesson..OK, I probably haven’t, and I’m sure I’ll mess up in the future (Probably tomorrow–I’d say tonight, but she’s already in bed as I’m writing this)…but, I’m much more conscious of what I say within earshot of this little parrot!