Monkey See, Monkey Do

Lately, Oliver has been picking up some bad habits from his sister.

Just in general, Ollie is always echoing what Evie says. I don’t think that is specific to him, but more just what two year olds do in general. Usually this is a good thing, because he’s learning about language and socialization. But going through the terrible twos is a lot different when you have an older sister to teach you everything, including how to misbehave.

Evie has a certain way of dealing with situations where she doesn’t get what she wants, where she sort of raises her eyebrows and gets this nonchalant tone of voice, agrees with what you’re saying, but exaggerates it to some ridiculous conclusion as if to say, “Okay, we’ll do it your way, do you see what’s going to happen?”. Something like, “Fine. Fine. I guess I’m just never going to wear clothes ever again.” It’s actually pretty hilarious; it’s petulant, but it seems like grown up petulant, not 5 year old petulant.

And now Oliver is doing it too. He doesn’t get extra rice like he wants? “Then I’m not going to eat it then.” He just absolutely matches the tone and posture and facial expression *perfectly*, that there’s no doubt where he got it from (and, unfortunately, I think they both ultimately get it more from me than Sara, which is sort of an uncomfortable realization).

There’s a couple of other bad habits he’s picked up from her, mostly about being afraid of things. He won’t go into the basement anymore, or even the living room if we’re at the other end of the house. Sometimes if you leave him alone (and he thinks of it), he’ll come running out screaming, “I’m scared, I’m scared!” I’ve asked him some questions, and I don’t even think he knows what he’s scared of, or even what “being scared” means. He just knows that’s what Evie would do, so he does it too.

Oh well, at least this way we know what to expect…

Anyway, it’s not all bad. It does my heart good to see him gaze at her with adoring eyes and just try to do everything he can to be like his big sis. He copies her because he thinks she’s the most amazing person in the whole wide world. For now, she doesn’t mind too much. It will be sad when she gets old enough to not want her little brother copying her all the time, or when he gets old enough to do it out of a desire to annoy rather than love.

For now, though, it’s actually pretty sweet.

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