Monkey #2 adores her older brother. I can tell, because she repeats practically everything he says, verbatim. As soon as the sentence is out of his mouth, she says it all over again, word for word. In fact, if she can figure out what he's saying before he's done, she'll chime in and finish the sentence with him.
I'm not sure how he feels about this, but it drives me batty. I keep thinking "SAY YOUR OWN WORDS." I don't say that, though. I tell her, "Sweetie, you have your own mind. You don't need to copy everything Monkey #1 says; you can say your own words."
Tonight while buckling everyone into the car to pick up the Mad Scientist from work, I had one of those stellar parental moments. You know, when you've been around pre-schoolers for so long, you start to sound like one? Don't pretend you don't know what I'm talking about, because I don't believe for a minute that I'm the only parent who has ever done this. (Doesn't mean I'm proud of it; that's why I'm stalling the confession).
Monkey #2 was whining, and rather than quietly asking her to stop, or something similarly mature, I started whining back at her. Yeah, just me and the middle monkey, whimpering in the back seat. And Monkey #1 said "Mama, you have your own mind. You don't need to copy everything Monkey #2 says; you can make your own sounds."