Tuesday, November 3, 2009
One of Michelle's coworkers told her a story not too long ago.
The coworker's nephew, almost two years old, had found some loose change in the car. The coworker asked him what he would do with the money.
"Buy milk," he told her cheerfully. "And beers."
Somewhat shocked, she finally asked him, "Why are you buying beers?"
"For daddy," he replied without pausing to think.
You hear about how children mimic their parents. Often, it's humorous; sometimes, it's not. Either way, children give you the most unvarnished views into your own life – your actions, your words and how you conduct yourself with others.
The results can be arresting.
In our case, the results would appear to illustrate that Michelle and I must spend a lot of our time on the phone. Truth is, we don't – at least not when I compare to others who I see yammering at all times and in all places. Then again, I work on a college campus, where students can't stand to spend a moment with their attention stuck in neutral. In any event, Nathaniel has picked up on the time we spend on the telephone and has mimicked our behavior almost to a tee. You'd think he had been rehearsing for the role. Watch how he cradles the phone against his ear. Watch him speak. Watch as his eyes veer from side to side as he speaks, just like we adults do when we're talking on the phone and looking around. Watch his reaction when it's time to hang up. Thankfully, he hasn't observed (or learned) looks of exasperation or boredom.
We've been spared that embarrassment so far.