Sadly, this is not an announcement that my son has created artificial intelligence.
A few years ago, we had a problem where Alex wanted to recreate a particular scene from Elmo's World where the hapless Mr. Noodle is learning to wash his hands. He washes his feet and his elbows but can't quite seem to figure out where the hands are. Alex would go upstairs, start the water running in the sink and recreate this scene over and over (splashing water all over the floor to the point where it started dripping down the ventilation grate).
He would sneak away to do this whenever he got a minute to himself. You'd take your eyes off him for ten seconds and he'd be upstairs doing it.
We had to institute a rule that Alex couldn't go upstairs unaccompanied. It took about six months to break the habit. He still plays the game periodically but it's not an obsession anymore.
Now we have a new imitation problem. Alex is climbing into the washing machine to pretend to be Oscar the Grouch. He's always been fascinated by the washer. It beeps and Mommy gets upset when you press the buttons.
I've found him in it at least once a day for the last four days. I tried leaving wet laundry inside to discourage him. Alex cheerfully dumped it all on the basket (with the clean, dry laundry, might I add). There's no way to seal the laundry area without installing doors (which we might well do). I think we're going to have to go back to no upstairs without escort again.