It's all gotta go somewhere

The Art of Imitation

It’s astounding how much children learn from imitating adults. Not being an anthropologist, or a biologist, I would guess the imitation is a survival skill. We like the pack. We like to look like others, be like others, to fit in. This can be a good thing: we will waste less water if we know how little our water our neighbor uses.

Having never been one to run with much of a pack, I was surprised to learn this lesson the other day by watching young Jackie Evancho. If you haven’t seen her yet, take a moment to watch her perform the beautiful O, Mio Babbino Caro, a song made famous to non-opera goers in the Merchant-Ivory film A Room with a View.

And yet here is even more evidence! Sung-bong Choi, a homeless, uneducated street orphan from South Korea, who taught himself opera by watching a man in a club.

These performances have taught me to never underestimate the inherent abilities of any child. We throw around these truisms all the time: monkey see, monkey do; we talk about how children are sponges. But they’re so much more; we have only scratched the surface about how the brain works.

By now, the entire Internet-accessed population of the world has seen the babbling twins on YouTube

A couple months ago, when the twins story broke, Dashiell and I watched the video, a few times. And we sometimes joke about their banter at home, always ending our babble with an upward tone, as if asking a question, the way the twins do. Well, Dashiell was listening! Here he is impersonating them (click here if you can’t see the video embedded below).

How, then, to not limit them?


  1. Amanda

    A star in the making!! Great video, even with the hand in the shot, cinematographer! I can see he loves his bath…and standing up!

    Auntie Amanda

  2. Grandma Lori

    I understood every word he said! I think he said Grandma Lori! 🙂

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