This morning Immy was wandering around the house with an adult sized thong on her foot, saying, “Thong.” (insert short pause)
“Thong.” (insert short pause)
“Thong.” (insert longer pause as readers begin to wonder where I am going with this!)
Of all the millions of things this busy toddler did today, the reason I noticed this in particular, was that I have never told her what thongs are. Her Dad and I don’t wear them, and if we did then I would call them ‘flip flops,’ not thongs, thanks to the last six years living on the East Coast of Australia. The only reason this pair of thongs is even in our house is that they were being given away as part of some company promotion and Dad 101’s assistant at work grabbed a few pairs. One of these pairs made it home with an office Secret Santa present and was thrown into our shoe basket, where Immy discovered them this morning.
While I understand that this is not necessarily an indicator of her being some highly intelligent, gifted or talented individual, after all she could have picked up the word ‘thong’ anywhere – from Playschool, from family members, or maybe I missed a scintillating conversation about thongs between Immy and her dad; it was a definite reminder to me that children see and hear everything! It can be so easy as parents to forget this. Especially with babies and toddlers who are pre-verbal or still learning to communicate their thoughts verbally. They are like little sponges that absorb words, ideas, knowledge through some form of osmosis. Somewhere along the way, Immy has heard the word ‘thong’ to describe a particular type of shoe and is using it correctly, not ‘sandal’ or ‘shoes’ or ‘boots’ which are the everyday words we use when talking about our shoes, but ‘thong,’ a word she can only possibly have heard once or twice in her life.
A reminder indeed to watch what we say when our children are around as they hear it all and understand more than we think (both the good and the bad!). In this case, it was relatively harmless but who knows what the next ‘new word’ could be!