I’d like to find the person who tells me that children are not sponges. I would argue that such a person probably does not exist. It is not hard to look at a child of almost any age and see, within moments, how much of their surroundings they take in.
Lately, I’ve been reminded of this so much – as I see Evalyn soak up the world around her like a sponge. Specifically, as I see her soak up the things I do and say. And sometimes? This scares the heck out of me.
Like when the dogs run past her and knock her over and I hear her say, in exasperation, as she stands up, “Oh you stupid dogs”. Or when I see her pick up a baby doll, smack its hand and sternly scold it, saying, “You stop that right now”. There are times when something doesn’t go her way and her frustration level increases and she lets out an “ugh” in the exact same tone that I know I use when I’m frustrated.
But then there are other times when I see her doing things and I think that maybe her sponginess isn’t so bad after all. When she is playing with her 5 month old boyfriend and I see her wipe his mouth off with a cloth and say, “There ya go, buddy. All better, honey” or see her hug him and smile at him and say, “Hi Boo-Ba'” because she hears me call him that - I know it’s not so bad. Even better is when she is playing alone with her dollies, and I see her pick one up, pat it’s back and say, “S’okay Baby. Eea got you. Eea got you now, okay?” Or when I’m singing under my breath while cooking at the counter and I hear a little voice behind me say, “Mommy sing-ning at Jesus!”. Perhaps the best? When we’re sitting at the table and I look over to see her with her eyes squinted shut saying, “Tank you Mommy, Tank you daddy, Tank you nana, Tank you papa, Tank you Niki, Tank you sood (food), Tank you my baby, A-MEN!”
Regardless of whether it’s negative or positive, though, every time I look at my little girl and see a reflection of my actions looking back at me, I’m reminded of this. Even when I don’t think about it – She is watching. She is listening. Always.