Our Little Orator

Okay. I reaaalllly don’t want to be a braggart mom.  I strive not to boast or be a maternal egotist – even when I fear my head is visibly swelling every time someone compliments our offspring.  I bite my tongue and not-too-quickly put my phone pics away when I’m tempted to unabashedly share child updates to a most likely uninterested victim.  But…I have to point out that our 2 year old’s language skills are admirable.  Sorry.  She has an objectively impressive vocabulary for a tiny tot and while she occasionally requires a translator in her mother or father, her rapid improvement in communication and ability to parrot nearly everything she sees or hears often leaves us in awe.

However, the things that come out of Hazel’s mouth also occasionally terrify me.  Sometimes they’re eye opening; sometime they’re hilarious.  But if they are at all a reflection of Nathan and I, then we need to consider some serious improvements in our selves and our rhetoric.  Apparently cynicism, sass and stupidity are more easily conveyed than we feared.

Thanks to her developing language, we have also come to realize we are not nearly as good at deceiving her as we gave ourselves credit for.  Where she might have gone with our lies in the past, she now calls us out on our frequent attempts at manipulation.  While asking if she can watch Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, her favorite cartoon:

“Mommy, Danny T might be on TV?”

“Umm, nope, I think he’s sleeping right now.  He’s not on TV.”

(Leaves room, brings back and forces remote control into my hand):
“He’s not sleepy.  You have to check, Mommy.”

Crap.

While out to eat recently and choosing her meal, she asked for french fries.  Much to her dismay, I turned down her request.

“No, sorry, I don’t think they have fries here.  How about green beans?”

(long pause, points to table next to us)

“There’s some fries, Mommy!  See? They got fries here.  Yay!”

Son of a…

I don’t entirely blame her for these instances.  She’s unintentionally demonstrating she is already a better person than I and perhaps we should use real parenting techniques instead of dishonesty to teach her life lessons and allow her to comprehend why we make certain decisions.  But before you picture her with a halo and us with our horns, know she is already showing signs of inheriting (perhaps by default) our flaws.  I’m not proud.

Just tonight – out of nowhere – she felt inclined to tell Nathan he smelled.  After coming in from work, she scrunched her nose, dramatically pinched it and while shaking her head said,

“Peeee-yooooo, Daddy.”  He laughed, “That’s not very nice, Hazel.  I’m pretty sure I don’t stink.” And she immediately replied,

“You stink.  Thas just TERRIBLE.”

Even if he WAS malodorous (I don’t recall he was…), it is not polite to point out another’s lack of hygiene.  Or their pungent, and perhaps unavoidable, aroma.  But how do you explain this to a 2 year old?  She has taken to blaming her poopy diapers on the dogs, so maybe she is just really sensitive to or self-conscious of bodily functions?  Who knows…

She also seems to be going through the trend of picking a new word (generally a delightful term anyone would LOVE hearing from the mouth of a babe) and repeats it no less than 732,394 times.  Hazel’s favorite word of late is “crazy.”  I’d like to think I have a more sophisticated vocabulary, but I must incorporate this word into my everyday conversations, and more frequently than I intend.  Upon announcing she had finished her dinner, for example, Hazel couldn’t wait the 13.5 seconds it takes me to get a wash cloth and clean her up.  Naturally, she threw the remaining barbecue pork and fork down on the floor.  After telling her “No!” and (apparently) feebly explaining why it is naughty and unacceptable to throw her food, she looked at Nathan across the table and said,

“I in big trouble, Daddy,”  followed up with,

“I just actin’ crazy.”

Image

“Baby bear wants a pancake.”
Right….

Although I have never described her particular behavior as such, she now uses “actin’ crazy” as justification for doing anything she knows she shouldn’t.   I truly hope her newfound defense isn’t foreshadowing.  If she’s practicing her insanity plea for a future crime, then my parenting skills are even better than I thought.

Earlier this week, after a particularly exhausting series of offenses, temper tantrums, refusing to listen and total defiance, I lost my $hit cool and yelled at Hazel.  I don’t remember what the exact culminating act was, but she became uncharacteristically quiet.  Fortunately, she didn’t cry.  She didn’t even pout.  She simply left the room, walked down the hall and sat down next to our pug, Curry.  Feeling guilty for my impatient reaction, I peeked my head around the corner to make sure she was okay.  I then witnessed her lean toward her beloved canine and all-too-clearly say,

“It’s okay, Curry.  Mommy’s just crazy.”

Image

I know, she scares me too. We’ll get through this together, brother.

I hope, at the least, Hazel’s perception of mommy is able to pull off a flattering straightjacket.  A few more of our chatterbox’s phrases stuck on repeat:

“Go ahead, I’m not ready yet.” (bedtime)

“OUUUUCHHHH.  My leg! That hurts my butt!” (attempting to make her wear pants)

“These my biker boots.  They’re tough.” (admiring her sparkly winter boots)

“Oh crapper.” (anytime she drops something)

“I got a big mudpile.” (she needs her diaper changed)

And so it goes.  Our little one is catching on to the ways of the world faster than we anticipated.    While we’re (mostly) keeping our cussing in check (as highlighted here), we apparently need to upgrade our filters and only converse using the classier dialects of Mister Rogers or Big Bird or a nun.

In the meantime, we dread look forward to her new, unexpected word of the day and whatever inopportune, inappropriate phrase she chooses to mimic next.  Keeps life interesting and keeps us on our toes, I suppose.

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“Stop swinging your arms and let’s pick up the mess you made, please.”
“I can’t!! I’m justa ballerina!”

Wish us luck.

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