Habits. We all have them.
They can be good.
We brush our teeth at night, wash our hands after using the toilet, say pardon me when we need to squeeze past someone…
They can be bad.
We scratch our mosquito bites, bite our nails, procrastinate…
They are often neutral.
We wear black more often than brown, always eat eggs for breakfast, buy more apples than we can eat in a week… These neutral habits are simply things we do. We do them so often, in fact, that we aren’t even cognizant of their being done until one day, for some reason, it stands out.
That day was last night. As I tucked The Kidling in (after a discussion of shapely meals), I became aware of her habit of repeating what I say to her at bedtime. A salutation, as we know, is oft repeated:
“Good night, Dear” “Good night.”
“Good morning!” “Good morning!”
“Bye now!” “Goodbye.”
“Have a great day!” “You have a great day, too!”
It often makes sense to repeat a salutation, but surely I am not the only one who has found myself replying, “you too!” to a wish of safe travels when I am the only one about to embark on an adventure.The same, it seems, is true of The Kidling. Once we had decided that I would be checking in on her in ten minutes (which I–ahem–forgot to do because I was writing this story), I tucked her in, said goodnight, then promised, “I’ll check on you in a little bit.”
“I’ll check on YOU in a little bit,” The Kidling replied.
Um. Sure. Goodnight.