Little pitchers have big ears

The line from one of my favorite (yet oh so sad John Prine songs “Sam Stone”) has been coming to mind often around my house.

The phrase warns parents to be careful about what they say within a child’s earshot as they often hear, and understand, more than you think. It is referring to the large handles, or ears, often attached to small pitchers.

Thankfully my little pitcher hasn’t been hearing thigns he shouldn’t, but the ease and quickness he picks up and immediately repeats things reminds me of the importance of making sure our conversations around him and what we are exposing him to are appropriate.

We read to Miles a lot. During the day Michael reads several books to him a couple of times a day. And before bed we read at least three or four. He has his favorites — books that I can read without even looking at the pages these days. It doesn’t surprise (although it still impresses me every time) me when he recites the words with me.

What surprises me though is when he can “read” a book to me after we’ve just read it a couple times. Take “The Very Busy Spider” by Eric Carle. The line, “The spider didn’t answer. She was very busy spinning her web” is repeated over and over again. I expect him to pick that one up pretty quickly. But after just reading it twice, Miles was able to get all the other lines in the book — every single word.

Even such intricacies such as the difference between “‘Neigh, Neigh,’ said the horse” and “‘Baa, Baa,’ bleated the sheep” are picked up by my 2 1/2 year old.

“He’s a genius,” I told my husband.

Of course I’m joking (kind of) but it is still a great reminder that everything mom and dad say is definitely being heard, and in some cases memorized — even more incentive to be great role models.

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