“Dots on bottom. Stretch over toes,” she mutters to herself while independently putting on her tiny toddler socks. I must have said those words to her about a thousand times and responded to “Mama, help” even more . . . modeling how to correctly put them on until the moment she finally pushed me away and insists on executing this task herself.
When I believe I sound like a broken record, what I’m actually doing, as it turns out, is imparting wisdom . . .
“Uh oh, try again,” she declares when her tower topples.
“Chew first, then talk,” she whispers after swallowing a bite.
“On edge, think about it,” she casually states while teeter-tottering on the arm of a chair.
Someday, she’ll grow out of this stage—this narrating every moment, parrot-like stage of life.
She won’t need to remember things like, “tag on booty” when dressing herself or “lift lid” when heading to the potty. Those things will be second nature. But I hope she remembers some of it.
When she’s surrounded by loved ones at a celebration or turns in an assignment she’s proud of. When she feels the sun and wind on her face or she feels accomplished for conquering a goal. I hope she hears me and says, “I’m happy.”
When she’s babysitting young kids or partying with her friends. When she’s cooking up her favorite recipe or trekking on a trail. I hope she hears me and says, “Keep everybody safe.”
When she chooses to be kind to a stranger or stand up to a bully. When she changes a tire or suffers a loss.
I hope she hears me and says, “I’m so strong.”
When she learns to ride her bike or attends her first day of kindergarten. When she passes her driving test or gets accepted to the college or program of her choice. I hope she hears me and says, “I did it!”
I won’t always be right beside her spouting out reminders and guidance, but I hope I always remain the voice in her head.