We're at the stage where we have to watch our mouths around Quinn. The other day, Robin dropped something on the floor and said "shit". A few minutes later, Quinn dropped one of his blocks, and used the word he heard from mommy in the correct context. Since then, we've been trying to eliminate expletives, or at least use German ones.
Today, I went to the park with Quinn. After an hour of play, I loaded him back into the van, which always happens under protest. When I had him strapped into the car seat, I responded to his complaints with "I know, daddy is so mean."
On the way back, he kept spamming "so mean" from his back seat, perfectly replicating the slight note of overdone sadness in my voice.
"So mean. So mean."
We go out to the park for a two-mile walk around the circuit every Tuesday and Thursday. Today, we played on the lawn as usual. The weather was nice, mild and overcast, and we were high up on a little hill overlooking the lake. It was a very serene experience--the lake reflecting the occasional ray of sun breaking through the clouds, a light breeze rustling the trees, and Quinn laughing like a maniac as I tossed him up into the air until my arms got tired. Then we sat down on a bench ("daddy, sit"), and he spelled out the letters on the dedication plaque for me.
Everything I've done in my life pales in significance to this--building the foundation for the rest of his life, equipping him with the tools he needs to become an informed, responsible, and well-rounded adult.
When we went to see the in-laws a few weeks back, my father-in-law asked me once again when I was going to get a "real" job. I told him that I already have one. I'm a teacher, a nurse, a bodyguard, a chauffeur, a tutor, and a security blanket, all rolled into one.