Mr Izz is doing his psych rotation this semester in nursing school. Whenever we have a dinnertime discussion, we have learned over the past few weeks that anything we say can and will be used against us…psyco-analytically anyway. In lieu of this, we’ve kind of learned to keep our mouths shut to a certain extent. But of course with this crew, you can’t help but let something out that Mr Izz can (and will) use to bombard us with his newly found psychobabble. I’m beginning to think we should replace our dining room table with a couch. Either that or a new liquor cabinet. But anyway…why am I telling you this? There really is no reason…while Mr Izz loves to entertain us with his ramblings (much in the same way that I like to entertain you with mine), the topic of this posting really has nothing to do with his new interest. I just told you about that because I thought it was interesting enough to write about. But enough is enough…onward to the meat and potatoes!

While this isn’t about Mr Izz’s obsessive behaviour (HA! He should learn to self-analyse), it is about how something he does on a regular basis has a bearing on how the children act in their play. I think all children do this, but today’s example was particularly humourous.

This afternoon I was busy trying to get warm…it’s cold outside which means it’s cold in the house (at least in my opinion), and getting warm is a huge deal and takes up quite a bit of my time. It means I stand in front of the wood stove until it feels like my sweater is about to catch fire. So, as I stood there, I was watching the littles play whatever it was they were playing. Éamon in particular was piquing my interest for he kept picking up a basket with a longer handle on it and a book of some sort. He then would mutter something to himself and walk over to the door, and then walk away muttering something else. I would call his behaviour strange, but he is only 2, so it was more amusing than anything. But it was also perplexing, for I had no idea why he kept doing it. So I asked him what he was doing.

“Éamon, what are you doing?” I asked. He answered, but at that point, his response was more babble than real words. So after a minute or two, when he was walking back to the door, I asked him again….this time standing in front of him in the hopes of understanding him when he spoke in his Éamon-ese again. This time he said: “I go a sool”. Hmmm….interesting.

“What are you doing, Éamon?”
“I go a SOOL!” he said again, a bit more emphatically. I looked over at Katherine, hoping for a translation of some sort, when it came to me.

“Éamon, are you going to SCHOOL?”

“Yes, I go a SOOL!” and with that, he again picked up his basket and book, and proceeded to the door as if to go out. At this point, I was shaking with laughter. While Mr Izz doesn’t take a basket to work (a tisket, a tasket…), he does take a rather large messenger bag that has a long strap so he can sling it over his shoulder. He also quite often has a stray book in his hand as he dashes out he door. The only thing that was missing in Éamon’s paternal imitation was a travel mug of coffee. I do know that imitating their parents is a common occurrence with children, so I didn’t find his behaviour to be particularly odd. I just thought it was really funny that he, in his little imagination, found that to be like Dad, he had to “go to school”. Mr Izz is always going to school, it seems. Apparently this has made quite an impression upon Éamon…even more than I had thought.

But the story doesn’t quite stop there. As I had mentioned, he would pick up his book and basket, and walk to the door to “go a sool”, but as soon as he got to the door, he would immediately walk away muttering something. I thought that perhaps it had to do with forgetting keys or something, but no. As I carefully listened to him in his play, I found that he was combining two very common things that his parents do…the first one being his father going to school. The second one was far more hysterically funny in my opinion, for it was something I do on a regular basis these days. As he walked over to the door as if to walk out, he immediately turned around and said: “Iss too cowd out dere” which translates to “It’s too cold out there” for anyone not fluent in Éamon-ese. When I walk out the door on any given day as of late, that is the first thing that comes out of my mouth. For Éamon, the freezing temperatures outside were enough for him to call it day, and forgo school altogether (at least until he decided to give it another try a few minutes later). It seems he has his father’s thirst for knowledge, but also his mother’s aversion to the cold…and the “mom” in him won out. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or not, but I do know I totally understand. How can anyone learn anything when it’s so cold? I’ll bet that Mr Izz can find something Freudian in that statement…but since I don’t want to know, I’m not going to ask him.

Éamon’s playing today made me think quite a bit about how our children learn from us, and how, because of that, we need to be very careful in what we do and say. Any of us that have used more “colourful” language in front of our children know that they pick it up much more quickly than if it we’d used something a bit more subtle. This also holds true in the way we behave around our children. If we behave in a good way, that is what our children will emulate. If we behave badly, then that is what our children will choose to imitate. Not that what happened today was even remotely bad…it was very funny and quite innocent. But our children really are like sponges, and they pick up so many things from us that we aren’t even aware of…some good, some bad. These characteristics will help to shape their personalities and future behaviours. Because of this, we must take care to surround our children with only those things that we want shaping their actions. This isn’t always easy…I know I’ve done and said things that the littler ones of the house picked up that I’d rather not have them picking up. But I try, as we all should.

There’s my story for today, and a bit of advice to go along. Free of charge, I might add. Call it an early Christmas present. 😉