When I'm not a stay-at-home mom, I'm a middle school teacher. So I know a little bit about attitudes. And there is nothing that gets under my skin more than rude kids. One thing I always said is that my kids will be polite. Of course I want them to be smart, and ambitious and leaders, etc. But most of all, I want them to have manners. So from before they can even speak, I teach them to say, please, thank you, sorry, etc. Max has to use the last one frequently, as he's been whopping kids on the head with any racket he can find, or walking up to kids and bumping into them with his belly. Not sure what I'm supposed to do about this aggressive behavior, but he does sound so darn cute when he apoligizes and gives his victim a hug. Being a little bit older and "wiser" Cameron has now become the politeness policeman. He will sulk FOREVER if someone hurts him and doesn' t say sorry. Or we have conversations like this: "Cameron, go put your dirty clothes in the hamper." He just stares at me with a goofy grin. "Cameron," my voice elevates with frustation. "What did I just tell you to do!"
Again, he stares at me blankly, but patiently.
Impatiently I yell his name once more, and realizing I'm about to blow, he calmly says in a sing-song voice, "You forgot to say something."
Then I sigh and let out a "PLEASE pick up your clothes and put them in the hamper."
And he skips off joyfully to do his chore. He doesn't quite get the difference between me asking him to do something and me giving him an order. And since they say kids learn by example, I guess I'll oblige him with a please for every order....for now. Although, he's constantly whispering to me, "Mommy, how come Daddy never says please?" Good question! Max has manners so ingrained into him that he actually thinks that "Yes, please" is one word. "Max, do you want some cereal?" "Yesplease." "Max, do you want to go outside?" "Yesplease." "Eeewww! Max, do you have a poopy diaper?" "Yesplease."
Ella still has time before I expect to hear pleases and thank yous from her. But since she's almost 8 months, it is about time I introduce some baby sign language to her. And the first sign I plan to teach her is, "More please."
My kids might be monsters sometimes, but at least they're monsters with manners.
(The pictures of the boys were from tonight when we made cupcakes. Melvin thought it would be more fun to use food coloring for icing. Cameron thought it was hilarious that his icing looked like Ella's dirty diapers.)