Monday, April 16, 2007

Mind Your Language!

Not a reference to the 70s sitcom that I so fondly remember (but dare not watch for fear of finding its foreigner-teasing comedy hasn't stood the test of time), but rather a simple warning that Hayley and I must heed ever more vigilantly.

Oliver is picking up on everything we say. Hayley's habit of saying "Right!" just before heading out of the door or setting out in the car has resulted in little echoes of her through the house as Oliver grabs his coat to go out. More poignantly, Oliver and I were playing with a puzzle together and at one point said to him "I'm sorry" when I dropped a piece. This set him off apologising to us for the next few minutes, even though he had done nothing wrong.

Worse still, he has even invoked this heart-wrenching "I sorry" when he has misbehaved. I promptly forgave him only to find he immediately repeated his misdemeanour (which, by the way, was a total refusal to co-operate with Daddy's attempts to clean his teeth).

But what all parents fear is the momentary lapse when you mutter something you shouldn't. It happened to Hayley yesterday when her phone wouldn't work. She was talking to a friend when it cut her off. As she walked from the kitchen her frustration got the better of her and she muttered "this phone is crap!". To which I immediately heard Oliver respond, "crap!".

Vigilance is definitely needed.