Monday, January 14, 2013

Misadventures of Good Manners

If this looks familiar to anyone, that's because it was an old post on my other blog. re-reading it gave me a little laugh, so I thought I would share.

I have always tried to instill good manners in my children. To say "Please" and "Thank You" and "Excuse Me". I have tried, with out much success, to teach them not to interrupt. Overall, I think that I'm just trying to teach them to be good Ladies and Gentlemen. I had no idea of how much of an impression my teachings had made until recently.

Exhibit A:
Austin and Nicole were waiting in the car while I was finishing packing the diaper bag to go run some errands.

Erika: "Mom, you need to be my gentleman!"

Mom: "What?"

Erika: "You need to be my gentleman!"

Mom, not really paying attention: "Oh, I need to be your gentleman. (Whatever that means)"

I finished packing the diaper bag.

Mom: "Erika, you need to run out to the car. I'm coming right now."

Erika: "I can't open the door. I told you that you needed to be my gentleman!" At least I know that Daddy opening the doors has made an impression.

Exhibit B:
We recently read "James and the Giant Peach". When we finished the book, I let the children watch the movie version. After watching it a couple of times and seeing how badly James' Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker treated him, Nicole came to me with the following observation:

Nicole: "James's aunts are so mean! Aunt Sponge burped and she didn't even say, 'Excuse Me'".

Exhibit C:
While watching Star Wars with Austin, I heard:

Austin: "Mom, Anakin interrupted that bad guy! He wasn't even finished speaking and Anakin killed him anyway!"

Now that our manners are well in hand, I think it is time to turn to other lessons: treating people kindly and not killing guys, whether they've finished speaking or not!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Misadventures of a Broken Commandment

This morning found me singing a cheerful good morning song to try to rouse my sleepy minions and declaring what a glorious day we were bound to have. Five minutes before this happy morning ritual, I was in bed using very abusive and near unpublishable language as my alarm tried to rouse sleepy me. At least five days a week finds me putting on my "Good Morning" face to try and start our day on the right foot (as opposed to the left foot?). Today, as my little children gave me their usual morning grumbles, I thought about what a hypocrite I am, singing and being cheerful when I really wanted to throw my alarm out the window.

It reminded me of something that I read on facebook Christmas morning. In reference to a post that Snopes made about Santa, many negative comments were made. This direct quote sums up those negative comments, "For me, lying to children is one of the most disgusting things an adult can do to them. Be the example you wish your children to be." Being guilty of perpetuating the Santa story and realizing that I was lying to my children every morning with my delightful demeanor, I began wondering about what other deceptions I am guilty of. No, Michelle, I wasn't delighted with my new hair color. Though, I am getting used to it. No, Bishop, I wasn't grateful for the opportunity to speak in sacrament meeting. No, Erika, I didn't "get" the joke you made up. No, Children, I don't think going to the dentist is a fun adventure. No, my Sweet Little Girl, I do not find this terribly long story to be totally riveting. And, Alex, I am not, in fact, a tickle monster. Boy, it's true what they say, "Confession is good for the soul."

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Misadventures of Sad Plates, a Lesson in Understanding

A few weeks ago, Alex and I were in the car running errands. From the back seat came an excited voice, "Mom, I saw a plate!" Distractedly, "Uh-huh". More excitement, "Mom, I saw another plate!" My response, "You saw a plate?", still sadly unfocused. "Look, Mom, there is a plate on that house." Now more confused than distracted, I responded, "That sure seems like a strange place to keep a plate."

The next day found us driving on a different stretch of road. From the back seat, Alex said, "Mom, I can't see any sad lights." My very helpful answer, "Well, that's good. Isn't it?" A few minutes later, "Mom, why can't I see any sad lights?" I'm thinking, "Sad lights? What on earth are sad lights? We have a Sad Sock Bucket for mate less socks. We have sad toys, whose batteries have died and Mom hasn't replaced them. What are Sad Lights?" My answer to my boy was, "Alex, I don't know why you can't see any sad lights. Maybe the lights aren't sad." Suddenly, with great excitement, "Mom, I see a sad light on that house over there." The clouds parted and a ray of understanding finally came to my foggy brain. Rewind to a lovely September morning when Alex and I walked the big kids to school. On our way home, we walked on "Mom's Bike Trail". As Alex looked at the houses that backed onto the trail, he was curious about those funny circles that stuck up from so many houses. I told him that they were satellite dishes that people used for their TVs. Satellite? Sad Lights?  "Alex, are you talking about the satellite dish?" With great joy at finally being understood, "Yeah, Mom. I see a sad light." With a little more understanding I asked, "And, Alex, when you saw the plates on the houses were you talking about satellite dishes?" Dishes? Plates? it's all coming together. "Yeah, Mom!"

Now, as we drive around town we have fun looking for people's dishes. Some days they're "sad lights" and some day they're "plates", but they're always fun to look for.