It is amazing what kids observe and remember, even the youngest ones. A few months ago we went out with friends to brunch at an Irish Pub. On the walls were several old Guinness ads, including one with the logo "My Goodness, My Guinness." My older daughter who has become a reading whiz noticed the ad immediately, and she spent most of the brunch repeating the phrase. It was cute at first, then got a little old, and finally we had to ask her to stop.
Just the other day I found a Guinness coupon in the paper, and I clipped to use for a party later. Julia saw it on the counter and instantly recited, "My Goodness, My Guinness." She remembered it and was delighted to have a new occasion to use it. Even more impressive, my toddler was with me in the store when I decided to use the coupon because Guinness was on sale. As soon as I started pulling the package from the shelf, I heard a small, "My Goodness" in the adorable lisp of a two year old. I stopped and laughed for a second. He sister was not around to lead her, and I had not realized that she studied the ad at brunch enough to remember the style, but there it was.
I wonder if they will remember the ad when they're old enough to drink Guinness. Probably not, and the more pressing reminder for me is that they absorb everything, remember it, and repeat it. This is why I continue to struggle with my own imperfections and try to be on best behavior. Like the kids themselves, I often fail, but I'll keep trying since I know how much they learn when I least expect it.