Children See And Repeat Everything

There is no better reminder of all of your bad habits than having a child. If you have a son, they watch you and want to do all the things you do. Unfortunately, that includes your bad habits. Check that, that especially includes your bad habits. 

I was reminded of that again the other day:

My son wanted a blue car like his daddy, and because grandparents do what they do, he was given this instead of a matchbox car. After he got in the car, I was soon very uncomfortable. 

No, it wasn’t because of the size of the gift. It wasn’t for safety reasons. Between the fact these are impossible to flip over, the low rate of speed, and bike helmets, that wasn’t the issue. The real issue was what my son did once he got in the car. 

Almost everyday, I have to derive through bumper-to-bumper traffic on the way to preschool. This means I have to deal with idiots of every kind who won’t drive for a number of reasons: 

  • On their cellphone
  • Completely zoned out and not paying attention
  • Doing their makeup in the car
  • Eating breakfast
  • Talking to everyone in the car
  • Turning the knobs on the radio like it’s one of the ones with the dials
  • Singing and dancing
  • Letting everyone in whether or not people actually want to get in even if it means stopping dead in traffic to let it happen 
  • Somehow I have to get two or three lanes over in the span of 3 feet and I’m just realizing it now so I’m stopped
  • Just not in a hurry to get anywhere
  • And one of my favorites: the person who takes a cat nap at every red light. 

With my child in the car, I make sure not to use profanity or insults, and if anyone of the aforementioned people get angry with me, I certainly don’t engage. To that extent, I thought having a child made me a better man. 

That was until my son got in the car, and his very first reaction was to slam the horn repeatedly and scream, “DRIVE YOUR CAR!  GET OFF THE ROAD!”

By the way, that’s when you get the knowing look from your wife. You don’t even have to turn around to see it. It’s there. You don’t even have to have the conversation about it either. It happens instantaneously and telepathically. 

And yet, you will talk about it. You will both laugh that he did it and reinforce to one another how he watches everything. The end result is I’m seemingly calmer in the car without any slamming of the horn. 

One added benefit – I’ve found flashing your lights certainly pisses people off more than slamming your horn. I wish I knew this sooner. To that end, I can once again say I’m once again better for having a son. 

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