Parents Beware: Children Are the Original Paparazzi

Parents Beware: Children Are the Original Paparazzi was originally published for the Chelmsford Patch on 3/17/12.
Aprazzi2Ever present.  Always watching.  Never forgetting.

Your every move is documented, each mistake you make is immortalized and anything you say is open to interpretation.  You are never alone, they see every move you make and forget none of them.

Snap, snap, snap go their mental cameras.

They are patient, they are relentless and they are opportunists.  If you so much as blink the wrong way it will be documented.  If you utter even just the first part of a swear word they will hear you.  If you instinctively act out in anger they will shake their heads and judge you accordingly.  Think otherwise if you dare, but do so at your own peril.

Snap.  Snap.

I’ve heard all the clichés.  Children are like sponges, children see everything, children never forget.  But it wasn’t until I heard the comparison of children to the paparazzi that the light bulb really went off in my head.  That’s exactly what they are like!

Like the paparazzi, your children aren’t watching you 100% of the time (maybe 98%), but you can bet the house that they will be standing right behind you the second you slip up.  They won’t remember everything you say, but somehow they will never forget that one bad word you uttered without thinking.  They will mimic an action that in our world is harmless, but in theirs, a big no-no.  Like the other night at the dinner table when I was a tad frustrated with the current affairs of both children and crumpled up my napkin and threw it.  Threw it, tossed it, whatever.  The act was harmless in nature and all in all the napkin traveled about 1 foot.  But innocent it was not for about 2 seconds later our youngest mimicked my action and chucked his metal fork about 5 feet across the kitchen.

Snap.  Snap.

Our oldest poses a whole different spectrum of problems.  He not only will mimic my actions but will also repeat the things I say verbatim.  Sure it’s kind of cute when he correctly uses the acronym “OMG” in context, but when he claims that something is “BS” in context, not so much.

This stuff takes some time getting used to.  I think I’m being clever by changing up my phrasing so as not to sound like a trucker around my children, but in the end, all I’m really doing is saying the same exact thing in a different way.  Sometimes you just have to experience this for yourself to have it really set in, but learning from these experiences is the key.

A few personal adjustments here and there are a small price to pay for the beautiful experience of watching our two boys grow up and process the world around them.  I honestly marvel how they seemingly never forget a thing and continually shake my head at how quickly they learn how to do something after seeing it only once.

My boys are aggressively learning the ways of the world and I couldn’t be more proud.  In fact, I’m a bit jealous of their paparazzi-like ability.  They are growing up so fast and are both at such great ages that I wish I was able to store a mental image of how they are right now and recall it at will any time I want.

I guess it can’t hurt to try.



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Enjoy a unique, fresh and entertaining perspective on parenting as Brad the Dad learns what it takes to raise 2 boys in today's world. #DadsRT co-founder.

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  1. I’ve never thought about it this way… but this is even better then saying they are like sponges. They are taking those mental pictures of the things we do always watching what we do and how we act. If they see us do it, they assume that they can act that way as well.

  2. I love the comparison. So true! Them buggers!

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