September 28, 2009

What Do I Need Manners For?

We take manners really serious around here. A breech in the manners code is a nickel in the vacation jar. (One day I will write about the divine vacation jar.) Before our babies can talk they are taught and expected to use sign language to communicate their please, thank yous and your welcomes. By the time they are old enough to sit in the high chair and eat table food they are proficient in these signs and usually have some command of the spoken word as well.

Now, in case you've not gotten the idea before, I will tell you that Elisabeth is a bit of a Princess. She has 3 older brothers who love to dote on her, spoil her, and give her everything she commands no matter how she asks for it. This has made her my most difficult child in the training of manners and will. It seems they can do faster than I can undo. Don't get me wrong. She is a delightful child. But she does have her stubborn moments, occasionally.

The other day, for example, I was feeding her because I didn't want the casserole all over her clothes. She has not mastered keeping runny food on the spoon between her bowl and mouth yet. So, I was spoon feeding her in between taking bites myself. Only, I got caught up in the conversation and forgot about her for a few minutes. She got tired of waiting and began asking louder and louder until she at last got my attention. I will admit that the fault in this case was mostly mine. I should have been paying attention to her.

So, when she reached the yelling point I did at last look at her. And I told her to "talk pretty." And she did stop yelling and sweetly asked for more. But she didn't say please. So, as I held the spoon near her mouth I told her, "Say more, please."

Do you know that baby looked at me with a very confused look, pointed to the spoon as if she didn't see the need for please because as she said, "IT'S RIGHT THERE!"


  1. Kat,

    I had to laugh by the time I got to the bottom. So very smart in spite of herself.

    Love that you have instilled manners in your kids. It seems to be the very thing missing in the generation I have been seeing lately. No please, thank you's but just impulsive gimme's!

    I can only hope that some can be saved before it's too late!

    Love and Hugs ~ Kat

  2. That is too cute. I love pretty!

  3. Your daughter's comment was priceless! and I have to admit~ OUT OF THE MOUTHS OF BABES! ;-)

  4. Aw, that's adorable! I just gotta tell ya, Kat, you look like such a sweetheart! Like you're friendly, compassionate and likeable.

    Have a blessed week!

  5. I want to hear about the vacation jar!

  6. Too funny about her expression!

    I found that sign language was a real stress-buster for our kiddo. And the added bonus is being able to shush him without making a scene in church :)