All the more experienced moms and dads out there warned me that toddlers are walking sponges absorbing everything in their paths but I really had no idea the extent of it. Now, I am starting to get just how amazing and perplexing their little minds are.
Like most parents, we noticed when Vivi would copy us. The other day she grabbed her purse, headed for the back door, and said, "I'm off to see my patients. Be home by 6:30." Of course, she doesn't have patients (that we know of) but her daddy does and he's always cruising home on his bike at about 6:30.
Or, somewhat unfortunately, she has started yelling, "Oh, stupid dogs!" whenever we walk by our neighbors incessantly yippie ankle-biters. I would like to blame this on my husband but he would have the sense not to mutter complaints about other people's dogs in front of our kid. I do not have that sense and thus it is a direct quote from my mouth.
It seems Vivi has taken to doing more than quoting us though. She is now memorizing songs, nursery rhymes, and books. The other day, out of nowhere, she recited this:
Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary
How does garden grow?
With silver bells
And cockin shells
And pretty maids in a row!
Huh? Seems the last time I read her nursery rhymes was about two months ago. Where did that come from??!
She also does her own very dark interpretation of Ring Around the Rosie. Check it out:
I can understand how little rhymes and music can get stuck in her head but it's the books that are really blowing my mind. Vivi has recently developed an immense love for The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and The Big Hungry Bear by Don and Audrey Wood. I can't say that I blame her since it is a pretty cool book. (Special thanks to our friends Karen and Will for introducing us to it!) When I sat down to read it to her the other day, she recited the book verbatim to me. Now, she spends a fair amount of time "reading" her books to her stuffed animals.
This is what I don't get: how come I can't recite that little book? Would I ever have been able to? Is this something that just got lost when I became an adult and learned to do one thing and think about ten others? I don't know and there's some discomfort with that uncertainty.
While I ponder these questions, I inevitably end up having a conversation like this one which I had with Vivi this morning:
Me: "Vivi, I see you drew on your legs with Mama's pen."
Vivi: "Yes, 'cause I'm going to the gym later."
That's when I am reminded that toddlers sometimes only make sense to themselves and I should spend less time worrying about why I can't recite a a book about a mouse and a strawberry and a big hungry bear.