Monday, February 06, 2012

Doorknobs! Safety! Manners?

I've been told that the activities that my sons engage in when someone passes gas is universally known. (Yes, you've figured out that this is not going to be one of my more profound or tear-jerking posts.) They have a series of exclamations that include “Doorknobs!” “Safety” and something else I can’t remember. Needless to say, I have no idea what any of it means, but the kids sure do.

So, Zeli, aged all of three, has started saying it as well. He makes a noise, and then I hear, “Doorknobs! Safety!” He has no idea what he’s saying either, but he figures he’s following the trend.

A few days ago, I decided that perhaps I should actually teach him some manners and I explained to him that he should say “Excuse me” when this happens.

Here was our interaction.

Z: (Noise) “Doorknobs! Safety!”

Me: “Zeli, sweetheart. When you do that you really should say “Excuse me.” That’s the nice thing to say.”

Z: Silence. “Why?”

And then I realized that I was in a bit of a bind. If we are teaching our children that their bodies are beautiful and wonderful – why do we apologize when our body makes a noise? I don’t know that this idea has struck me in the past – but it really struck me as Zeli looked at me with the big, blue eyes, waiting for an answer. But, I figured my philosophical child-rearing thoughts would have to wait for another time. This kid needed some direction.

Me: “Um, well….because it’s just the nice thing to do.”

Z: “Hmmmm…..”

Side note here: When someone gives something to Zeli, he doesn’t just say “Thank You.” He says, “Fank You Bery Much!” with as much vigor and energy as you can imagine a three year old mustering.

So, the next day we were back in the family room.

And Zeli made a noise.

And he turned to me, got that twinkle in his eye, and said, “Exuse Me Bery Much!”

And I nearly died laughing.

Maybe doorknobs would have been better after all?

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