Monday, December 16, 2013

Please may

Like generations of parents before us, Paddy and I have been trying to wrangle some good manners into the duo of wild gorillas that live in our house. This pretty much consists of reliving the same basic situation (one small person steals toy/book/off-limits Christmas ornament from other small person; wailing ensues) over and over again and responding by repeating the same basic disciplinary/educational shtick over and over again, all the while hoping that something we are saying is tattooing itself into the moral code of at least one of the two culprits so we don't end up with a double dose of teenage delinquents, or, worse, one of those whiny kids who tattle-tells all the time.

It turns out that all this molding and shaping of young behavior results in some pretty great moments. For example, the time Bug responded to one of my exasperated recitals of "Kindness Begins with Me" by dropping her eyebrows into a low scowl and snappily correcting me: "No, Mama. Kindness begins with HEAVENLY FATHER."

You got me.

We've also been stressing the importance of using polite language, particularly when asking for things. In that funny way that little minds warp things, Bug has interpreted this to mean that any inclusion of the phrase "please may" is considered polite, regardless of the questionable grammatical structure of the sentence. This means that around our house, we get plenty of requests like, "Mama, will you get me some chocolate milk please may?" or "Please may can we go to Nana's now?"

The first person who corrects her will a swift punch in the kidneys.

Mister Baggins is pretty new to the whole disciplinary arena, but his deep joy at throwing food off of his high chair tray has landed him in his first few rounds of timeout. I'll tell you what, when that kid is finished eating, he is quite emphatic about it.

All this to say, raising these kids is a joy. A challenge, for sure, but a joy. And I don't know why I've felt so stuck without funny things to blog about them.

Playing Row, Row, Row Your Boat together.

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