You may have heard it said before that toddler and preschool age girls mimic their mothers.
I would like to confirm that notion and also to give you some insight into how this is working out in our household.
Ever since Madeline began walking, she has been busy. Not hyper and uncontrollable, but certainly busy. She has always wanted to help me clean, wipe, wash, and put away. Her little hands always need to be doing something. This, friends, she gets from me. I am not the type of woman to just sit down and take a break. I always feel as if there is something I can and should be doing.
(Though, admittedly, this helps me get a lot of housework done!)
Later, I noticed Madeline was influenced by my taste in music. She enjoys Bruce Springsteen, Mumford and Sons, and she refers to the Beatles as “epic music”.
As she started talking more, Madeline began to use some words and phrases that only I use in our home (“you guys”). Beard and I thought this was ever so charming. How cute that Madeline wanted to be so much like her momma.
It wasn’t until more recent months that Madeline has begun to point at people and telling them in an angry tone, “No, you’re all done!” She can use harsh tones, harsh words, and harsh gestures (like the pointing a finger). And, much to my dismay, I realize she learned all of these things from me.
Although I know our sweet girl has picked up lovely traits from both of us (she is polite, funny, and generally laid back), it is hard for me to ignore this magnifying mirror running around my house. God has given me this little girl for a reason; my Madeline is showing me how I speak, act, and treat others. She shows me the worst of my social and emotional sins.
For this, I am truly thankful. Had someone told me about the way I speak, the words I use, and the gestures I make, I may have become defensive.
Okay, I probably would have become defensive.
But seeing these habits in my own daughter is irrefutable proof that I am acting in ways that I shouldn’t, and they are not pleasant to be around.
I have heard people say that motherhood really changes you, and I couldn’t agree more. I feel I have a lot of work to do on myself, and, thanks to my firstborn, I always know what needs to be changed.