Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Not-So-Magic Word

One of the things I am the most proud of with Abby is her manners. Even before she was able to speak we made sure that we used courteous words with her. In fact, when teaching her sign language we very deliberately included "please" and "thank you" right from the start. It gives me a glow of motherly pride when a teacher or another parent will tell me things like, "Abby is so polite, she always remembers her manners," or "Out of all the kids I gave a snack to, Abby was the only one that said thank you." She has even expanded her mannerly vocabulary to include, "Bless you!" when someone sneezes (or coughs), and "excuse me" when she needs to sneak by someone, when she belches, or when she....well, we'll just leave it at: she knows when she needs to excuse herself.

Now, she isn't perfect, and she certainly needs prompting from time to time, but overall her manners have become pretty well ingrained in her. I thought of all this today as she was pleading with me to produce some pizza for her dinner. She wanted some cold pizza and she kept telling me, "Pleeeeaaaasssse, Mama!" over and over (and louder and louder). I continued to tell her that I didn't have any pizza, that I couldn't make it magically appear. I had to laugh when she let out another pitiful "please" because I realized then that it isn't quite the magical word that everyone claims it is.

Finally, in exasperation, I opened the fridge and told her to look and see if she could find any cold pizza there, if only to prove to her I wasn't keeping it from her. She stood there for several minutes, bent over and saying things like, "Mmmmm.....let's see here," while she tried desperately to find what she was looking for. Finally, she must have seen something that sparked the promise I'd made to her this morning, because she suddenly turned to me with another option - pancakes!

I happily obliged and we set about making some pancakes for dinner. She is now cheerfully working on cleaning her plate, and telling me how good they are, along with making sure to thank me for her yummy dinner.

I couldn't decide which picture I liked the best, so I added both.


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