Tuesday, May 29, 2012

'Scuse Me, Mom.

"It is something that most parents hope for in life: That their children will be moderately successful, polite, decent human beings. Anything on top of that is something you have no right to hope for, but we all do."  -Jerry Kramer
We are working on politeness in this house.  It was kind of by accident, Maeve started copying me by saying 'Scuse Me, but not in any kind of sensible context, so I thought I'd try and teach her why I say that.  And I say we are working on politeness because it also requires me not to just giggle when she lets out a note of flatulence, but remind her instead of what she's supposed to say when she toots.

I got her a Karen Katz book on politeness called Excuse Me!, and it's a big hit.  I often get her either Sesame Street or Karen Katz books when I need to teach her something, because she loves them both so much.  Karen Katz books are great because they are all lift-the-flap books, which is toddler bestseller material, right up there with textured pages and pictures of puppies.

One of the pages asks, "What do you say when Daddy asks if you want a special treat? Yes, please!"  Maeve has caught this ball and run with it.  She was squeaking Special treat, yes, please! all over the house yesterday morning.  So I did the only reasonable thing and let her have a slice of sprinkle cake for breakfast.  As Cosby once said, cake has all the ingredients of breakfast, anyway.

But we had lots of success yesterday.  She won't do it without prompting just yet, but with a little nudge, I heard lots of 'Scuse me, and in the right context, and even some Yes, please, even if it was used as a begging tool.  Little by little, my girl is picking up what she needs to be a polite, smart, funny, wacky bigger person.

My polite little ballerina, working on her pirouettes.


  1. I"m going to check those out! We love books, and I love books that talk more on manners.

    They are BIG at our place - we sign them, of course, but I'm still Stern Mama on please, thank you, sorry, excuse, me, etc.

  2. Hehe, I'm afraid I still have a lot of work to do in terms of Sammy's reactions to his bodily functions. Usually I'm too busy laughing to say anything! :D

  3. Ben has been really good about using polite words since he could talk but this book sounds like a must have! And we'll probably have a tiny one running around screaming special treat please too!