More and More Baffling…
While building and expanding on his sense of self, my three-year-old absorbs and imitates all sorts of people. Mostly us. It’s scary sometimes. You don’t want to see your most funny mannerisms in your kid, or find out how many annoying phrases you tend to use in your imperfect everyday speech. But what’s even worse is when you can’t even track down the role-model for a specific behavior, or if you do, you know you can’t eliminate it from your life as it is simply part of the larger environment.
My son suddenly likes to pretend he is smoking. Now, I have never smoked a cigarette in my life, and my husband quit smoking a year before Andrei was born. Andrei doesn’t watch television, but we live in a big city and he has definitely seen numerous people on the street smoking. So now, he pretends he is smoking.
My husband and I tried to explain (as simply and clearly as possible) that this is a dangerous habit. We also tried to simply ignore it. Nonetheless, Andrei still “smokes” at times. And he definitely does a great job of imitating typical smokers’ mannerisms and “blowing the fire out” as he calls it.
In addition to this newly discovered smoking “habit,” in the past few weeks our son also spat out the word “kill” in quite a dramatic way, I will kill you. Again, he doesn’t watch TV, and my husband and I have a pretty tranquil marriage and household. But, of course, our son could have heard the word anywhere. After all, my husband and I do discuss and commit the acts of killing flies and mosquitoes in our backyard.
I tried to explain what killing means (the fact that killing means something disappears forever seemed to surprise Andrei), and then we moved on. But witnessing the expansion of your young child’s world can be baffling.