My child cured my road rage.


If one of these cut me off, I’d probably be okay with it.

At least for a day, seeing as I haven’t driven yet, Eliza has fixed my road rage.

Since having children, this is yet another thing that has changed.  When I first had Eliza, I thanked God that she couldn’t understand a word I was yelling (and sometimes cursing) at other drivers.  When she started to talk, I realized she would repeat pretty much everything I said, especially if it made me laugh.  Remember dammit?

Now, I have one repeater (Zach) and one “mommy” (Eliza).  Eliza is very maternal, likes to tell people what to do, and likes to correct them.  (I know you’re laughing right now if you know me at all.)

Last night, we were on our way to her very first dance recital, and I was concerned about not getting good seats, so of course, every other car on the rush hour road was a serious hindrance to my plans.  I’ve changed, though, in the sense that I now simply talk down to other drivers instead of yelling at them.

“Really?  That’s what you’re going to do?  Thanks – a turn signal would have been nice.”

“Oh, please, cut in front of me, because what you have to do most certainly must be more important than what I have to do.”

Does this sound familiar to anyone else?  I was in the middle of having some of these one-sided conversations with the people on the road.  And Eliza said, “Mommy what are you doing?”  And I said, “I’m just talking to the other drivers.”  Then she said, in a calm and slightly condescending manner, “They can’t hear you, Mommy.”  Of course Greg had to chime in, “I’ve been telling your mommy that for years, Eliza.”

Perhaps he has.  Maybe it’s easier to learn from your innocent children than it is to do so from your spouse.  But when she said that to me, for some reason, I didn’t want to respond with, “But it makes me feel better.”  I didn’t have anything to say for myself.  I was just quiet.  She was right.  They can’t hear me.  From now on, I’m going to try to stop talking to them.  I have no idea if it will stick, but at least for the moment, she has me contemplative and cured.

Parenting lesson # 23: Your kids learn to talk by repeating what you say.


Teaching your kids to talk is a double-edged sword.  I can’t count the number of times I’ve already been embarrassed by what Eliza has said, mostly because it’s so obvious she’s repeating something she learned from me.  Something bad.  And it only seems to be getting worse.

Luckily for me, there haven’t been any recent instances of her saying “dammit!” like she learned about a year ago.  I taught myself not to say that word.  No, now she is much more into poop.

We’re trying to train her that “poop” talk is not funny, but somehow, especially with her friends, it is the funniest word she knows.  They will sit and giggle and just say it over and over and over.  It doesn’t help that yesterday, she was playing and just kept saying, “Crap, crap, crap, crap, crap” when she couldn’t get things to go her way.  I instantly knew she must have heard me say that (apparently it is my replacement for “dammit”).  It was such an ironic moment because I keep trying to tell her not to use potty talk, but I do it obviously often enough for her to pick up the word and its proper usage (though I don’t think she knows that crap is a worse form of the word poop.  Yet.)

It’s the classic lesson of “do as I say, not as I do.”  It’s often funny to hear your kids repeat the not-so-great things you say, but it’s also scary.  It’s like every sentence you speak goes on the record and could be repeated at any moment (most likely when it would be the most mortifying).  So, now I can add “crap” to my list of no-no words.  I’m quickly running out of options.  Maybe I’ll start saying “drat” or make up a word, like, “snaggle!”  I need to come up with something before I fall on my proverbial “double-edged” sword.