We’ve always worked hard to develop good manners in our daughter.
For the most part, we’ve been pretty successful. We frequently get, often without prompting, a “please”. We tend to get a lot of “thank you”. We get an, “excuse me” when she burps (and an, “excuse you” when we burp). We even get a lot of “excuse me” when we’re talking, and our daughter wants to say something.
I’m very proud of my daughter for being so polite.
However, lately, manners have made reading certain books a real chore.
Take for example, The Sneetches, by Dr. Seuss. Particularly, the stories, The Zax, and What Was I Scared Of. The Zax, for those who
are too lazy to click the link aren’t familiar, is the story of two stubborn, uh, Zaxes, one who always goes north, and one who always goes south. Well, of course these two run into each other, and neither one will move out of the way. A nice lesson, no?
Well, I get a few pages in, reading in my totally awesome Zax voices, and I get a, “No, no, Zax! You’re supposed to say excuse me! Don’t bump into each other! You’re supposed to say excuse me!” Of course, she expects me to talk as the Zax… what can I say? I can’t agree to say, “excuse me” because then why bother reading the rest of the story? I can’t be rude and refuse to say, “excuse me”. I’m lucky if I get to finish the story.
In What Was I Scared Of, there is a… uh… some kind of Seussian creature who runs into a pair of pale green pants (just pants, no person inside), and is repeatedly frightened until he(?) one day discovers that the pants are afraid of him. Then they become friends. Again, a few pages into the story, I am hit with, “No no! Don’t be frightened! He’s friendly! Don’t be frightened! You be friends later on!” Okay, not necessarily manners, but does still kind of kill the story.
Okay, one last example. We picked up a small “Vintage Disney” book in the dollar bin at Target called, The Clock Cleaners. It features Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck attempting to fix up an old clock. Of course, as the always do, they screw it up. In the end, Minnie Mouse yells at them. Thank goodness it is at the end! At least with this book, I am pretty much done reading by the time I get the, “No no, Minnie! Don’t yell at Mickey and Donald, all right?!?”
So, reading may be a bit difficult these days, but I am very happy with her manners.
[You can buy your own copy of The Sneetches at bn.com, and teach your children some manners, for just $11.96]