Sometimes, as you can imagine, this behavior can be very cute and appropriate, like the other day when I thanked the barista at our local coffee shop and my little guy said, "Thanks! Have a good one!" Or even cuter when he'll bring a phrase back from memory at some randomly appropriate moment, like when the other night I expressed some frustration about the lack of ice cream in the freezer he said, "Not today, Sorry!"
At other times though, the use of his internal tape recorder can be a little too revealing.
About a month back, we were preparing for a party. We were expecting family and friends and my son and I were out in the car running errands. This being a small city, the driving can be somewhat challenging. When we came to one of the tougher four way stop sign intersections on our traveling circuit, some hurried gentleman in a ragtop Audi made a pretty good attempt at a rolling stop that wasn't going to stop.
I stopped flat and steered away to avoid an impact. I caught the driver's eye, waggling my finger at him and let out a choice phrase (as I thought) under my breath.
I was very angry at the time, but forgot about the whole thing after a few more turns and a couple of stops on our errand route. It wasn't until we were back home later that morning that I realized I'd made a mistake.
We'd come in the door and found my wife's Mom and her brother had arrived. They were helping to set up.
I set my son down and he began to play with his toys. I went into the kitchen but hadn't been there long before my wife called me back.
"What's he saying?" she asked me.
My son had set up his stuffed animals on the couch. He was standing stock upright with an extended arm and was waggling his finger straight at a purple bear: "Stay right there jack-*ss!"
"Um," I said shuffling a bit and feeling sheepish, "Not sure where he picked that up."
Guess I need to be more careful.