It wasn’t that long ago that Sierra surprised us all, uttering “teamwork,” a word several levels higher than her current vocabulary could withstand. It was cute. It also showed the power of the Wonder Pets – three classroom animals and a catchy song was all it took to teach her a multi-syllabic concept.
(We know – all kids learn a higher-level word or two in the midst of the basics. That doesn’t take away from the fact that it’s cute as hell.)
But now we’ve entered a dangerous territory: Sierra has reached a state of all-out mimicry, soaking in words and repeating them regardless of context.
Ask my mom, who recently (unknowingly) taught Sierra how to say “Oh my God.”
At this point, anything is possible. Any word has the potential to stick. Swear words, jokes, expressions, idioms, brand names and pet names. This week, it’s “ice cream cone” and “baby llama.” Next week, who knows. “Target?” “Oprah?” “Don’t Tase Me Bro?”
It was brought to point just last weekend. After a few days of selecting and sewing and hanging from Kerrie’s mother Cindy – “Ci-ci,” according to Sierra – we had some window treatments installed over our front window.
On Friday, trailing a stream of babbling and nonsense, Sierra pointed to the new installation.
“Win-now treet-men, Ci-ci go”
Seriously? What kid says that? What kid feels the need to attach words to curtains? Kerrie and I looked at each other and understood the weight of her words.
Yes, Sierra. Those are window treatments. Yes, Cindy installed them. And yes, Grandma Ci-Ci has gone home.
Oh, and in the meantime, we’d better begin using an ounce of caution with everything we say from now on. Because a toddler’s listening. And she’s eager to surprise us again.