You find out what kind of a parent you really are when you watch your children play. Our big dose of reality came in the form of the girls playing “babies” and screaming at them and disciplining them. “You go to timeout! You a bad girl! I spank you bottom!” I sat there in shock and awe of what was coming out of their mouths. While they are very nurturing by nature, they didn’t come up with this stuff on their own. They were showing signs of their environment and it wasn’t pretty. It was that “I learned it by watching you!” moment that scared the s*!t out of us.
At that point, Tracey and I decided we really needed to watch, not only what we were saying around them, but how we acted around them when we’d discipline them. To be honest, it’s still a huge work in progress to not be a raging a-hole when they are being bad, but I’m trying.
On the flip side, it’s always funny to see the girls doing and saying things that are funny or not so inflammatory that they learned from us. Tracey was out of town for work and I was rushing around to get the girls ready, when I set them up in the bathroom to brush their teeth. Out of nowhere, I heard them “gagging” and giggling. When I walked in and asked them what they were doing, they said “we brushing our teeth like mommy.” When Tracey brushes her teeth, she usually brushes her tongue and sometimes sounds like she’s going to throw up. It’s always made me laugh, but it was even funnier when I was treated to the girls’ impression of it.
The video above is a recreation of the event, so not quite as funny and a little over-acted, but a pretty close representation of what I heard from the other room.
So, while there are bad things we’re doing that the girls have picked up about our parenting skills, it’s good to know they’re also picking up some of the funny things we do. Thank goodness.