I am constantly humbled and scared at how much my kids copy everything I do. It terrifies me to think of how much they are watching what I do and how much they copy me. There must be some inborn need to imitate.
On Monday I had no court hearings and we are changing Sabrina's day care, so she stayed home with me all day. While she was playing in the toy room, I took the opportunity to clean the kitchen. Sabrina (who is 23 months old) came in to watch me. She saw that I was spraying the appliances with cleaner and wiping them with paper towels. Then she left.
A few minutes later, she came back with her doll's plastic high chair, which she placed in the middle of the kitchen. She then walked over to me and took the bottle of spray cleaner and the paper towel out of my hands. I watched as she walked over to the toy high chair, sprayed it with the cleaner, and wiped it with the paper towel. It was so cute!!
My practical side immediately thought of the long-term benefits of having a child who readily cleaned. So, I praised her profusely and hoped to develop this behavior into a habit which will last for the next 16 years.
My pensive side kicked in a moment later. I thought, it's a good thing she didn't walk into the kitchen and see me smoking a cigarette (not that I smoke, that is just an example). Or arguing with Robby (that I do do). Or doing something else I don't want her to do.
When did I become such a role model? I didn't make any effort at all to teach her to clean; she just saw me do it and thought she should. I have never even said to her "copy me." She just has this innate desire to do what I do. It's very scary to know that I am a role model, even in the privacy of my own home.