Zoe not only likes to repeat anything and everything she hears people say these days, but she also appears to understand the context of when to repeat things she's heard. Several weeks ago I slipped up and exclaimed, "Oh crap!" about something of which I have no current recollection. What I do very clearly recollect is that before I realize what I had said, Zoe was parroting back "Oh crap!" over an over again. Fortunately stronger language than "Oh crap!" is not a routine part of my vocabulary--unless you consider "ass" to be a cuss word, which apparently some do and some do not...but this last tidbit will only be amusing to those who know the story behind my usage of the word "ass" in front of my college students at Evangel University. But before I digress too far, let me return to the topic at hand.
I have been very careful not to repeat the "Oh crap!" incident. However, apparently with Zoe, it only takes once for her to grasp something. Recently, in a moment of frustration, I exclaimed, "Oh shoot!" Please note I was very careful not to say, "Oh crap!" In spite of my efforts, Zoe followed up my careful exclamation with her own resounding, "Oh crap!" On a different day Zoe dropped something and exclaimed, "Oh crap!" I've a feeling I'll be paying for this one for quite a long while.
The recent joke at our house stems from Zoe's repeating of a particular phrase she found to be quite novel. Brian had just finished his typical portion of Zoe's bedtime routine: getting her changed into her pajamas and reading her a story. He then handed her off to me to rock with her. He had just left us in Zoe's bedroom with the door shut when I quickly began to detect poopy diaper odors from the trash can. We tend to refer to the offending trash as "taking out the poop bag." I knew Brian had gone into our bedroom and would be able to hear me over the baby monitor, so I said (in a slightly raised tone), "Honey, if you can hear me, would you come take care of the poop bag?" Zoe found this dialogue intriguing, and followed it up by raising her own little voice a tad and repeating, "Honey...(unintelligible bable)...poop bag!" This sounds especially funny when said in a little baby voice. Of course, Brian and I found this to be so amusing that we couldn't help laughing at her. I, in particular, laughed until I cried. Yes, I know that is basically encouraging her to continue, but I just could not help it this time. Now whenever we raise our voices to call up or down the stairs to each other, Zoe launches into her own little raised toddler voice rendition of "Honey...poop bag!" While we continue to get a good chuckle out of it at home, I really am hoping that she never has the opportunity to use this one in public.