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Just Like His Mama

About a week ago, as part of my daily routine, I set out cat food for Percival and Tristan’s mid-day meal. The trick at lunch-time is to get Tristan, who is usually not very hungry and takes amazing mid-day naps, to rouse himself and come downstairs before his hungrier brother, Percy, gobbles up all the food.

I usually summon Tristan by standing at the foot of the stairs, craning my neck to see if I can see him, and calling out his name in a loud but—I hope—welcoming way. It’s a little sing-songy, and the first syllable is drawn out for effect.


So there I was about a week ago, bending over to put food in the bowls, when a familiar voice called out from behind me:


It was Simon. And he sounded, pitch, tone, and all, just like me. What’s more, he was bending over and looking up the back stairs just like me, too. It was uncanny.

This got me to noticing some other similarities. Like, we both prefer to sit cross-legged. I don’t know if I should attribute this to genetics or imitation, but I do know that Matt never ever sits this way.

I also see similarities when he’s concentrating on something and pulls his mouth to the side in a lopsided grin that brings out the dimples. It’s a little goofy, and it’s a goofy look I know I wear quite often.

He’s also really into my tea. When Matt and I took him to school Friday, I had a mug of tea with me, and Simon insisted on carrying it into the school. I’ve seen him act out the tea ritual in his play kitchen, too.

The pinnacle of Simon’s mommy imitation, without a doubt, involves his play acting with the phone. Simon loves the phone; he loves to listen to real conversations and he loves to initiate pretend ones. Just yesterday he somehow managed to turn on my cell and dial our home line with it! He likes to play with real phones and toy phones, and in a pinch he’ll hold up a remote control or a calculator to his ear and pretend that is a phone as well.

And when he does, almost without fail, he lifts the phone to his ear, says “hewo” brightly, then looks down, bends over slightly to one side, and begins to pace the floor. After several trips he says, “[o]kay”, then “Simon” then “bye!” I’m not sure about the “Simon” bit, unless he’s heard me say I have to get off the phone because of him, but the rest—warts, leans, pacing and all—is vintage me.

It’s an interesting effect to see one’s behavior in the guise of a two-year old, much more immediate than viewing the same in the form of old photographs or in the behavior of other family members. It’s also made me even more eager to see what will happen any day now when gender identification takes hold and Simon begins to consciously imitate Matt.

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