The second he woke up this morning, The Imp came striding out into the living room where I was curled up with a book, looked at me very intensely, and made the following announcement:
The Imp: I am taking away all your treats.
(We use the phrase "take away your treats" to keep his behaviour in line.)
Me: Really. Why are you taking away all my treats?
The Imp: Because you said no tv. So I'm taking away your treats.
Me: Why do you think I said no tv?
The Imp: I don't know.
Me: Because you were shouting and hitting last night at bedtime. Am I shouting? Am I hitting?
The Imp, reluctantly: Noooo.
It's so interesting to hear my own words echoed back to me by my child. I'm fascinated, watching him figure out how much power he has, how much power his words have. He's figuring out his place. He's crafting his worldview. And when I hear my words come out of his mouth, I'm keenly aware of how much influence I have on that.
I was reminded of this again later this morning, after breakfast, as we were getting dressed for daycare. He wasn't cooperating, and I told him if he didn't get dressed rightnow there would be no treats after school. He looked at me, dejectedly looked at his feet, and quietly said, "Fuck."
(Well, yay for using it in the correct context, I guess?)
Me, quietly: What did you say?
The Imp: Fuck.
Me: Honey, we don't say that word.
The Imp: You say it all the time.
(Um, yeah. He had me there.)
Me: You're right, I do say it. But I shouldn't. It's not a nice word. How about if I don't say it anymore, and you don't say it anymore either?
The Imp: Okay.
So we finished getting him dressed and got him off to daycare. There were no horrified stories of dropped f-bombs on pickup this afternoon, so I'm hoping that's the end of it. For now, anyway.
And I really do need to get a handle on the things I say. There's an echo in here.