Monday, June 13, 2005

Gentility

Harry, who is three, will be joining our days soon. Today he accompanied us to the park as a taster of things to come. During snack, being the good role model I am, I offered Harry some apple slices. "No, thank you..." he says. Cheerfully calm tones, small smile, steady eye contact. All this is highly impressive for a three year old. I am delighted by his demeanour, and hasten to tell him so. "Well, that was very polite, Harry" I respond - oh, but I'm interrupting him - "...but thank you for offering!" he finishes. Not mere manners: this boy is positively courtly. Should I curtsey?

9 Comments:

Blogger Simon Peter said...

Ahh yes, manners. We're working on those now. It's mostly going well, but it's interesting how much you need to stay on top of each manner that you want to impart until it becomes part of the standard package.

Please, thank you, hello, goodbye, may I, excuse me ... I think that these are the core. Then there's table manners; no speaking with a full mouth, chew with the mouth closed, staying at the table until everyone is finished. The list goes on forever! :-)

6/13/2005 05:15:00 PM  
Blogger Kevin B said...

Ever watch Leave it to Beaver up there in Canada? You might just have a young Eddie Haskel on your hands, Mrs. Cleaver, but hopefully not! Sorry, I guess that wasn't a glass is half full comment!

6/13/2005 09:52:00 PM  
Blogger ASouthernGirl said...

Oh, what a cutie. I wish more little boys ,soon to be men, would be chivelrous. Good for him and good for you .

6/13/2005 10:29:00 PM  
Blogger Candace said...

Kudos to Harry's parents! We've drilled the manners into our kids from day one, and we regularly get comments on how well-mannered they are.

It's an ongoing process, and I take my responsibility very seriously!

6/13/2005 11:20:00 PM  
Blogger August95 said...

I just love a well mannered kid. I don't know any, but I am sure I would love one if I met one :). I kid, I kid. I have seven nieces and nephews and they all try their very best.

Thank you for stopping over at my place. I look forward to reading more of your blog.

6/14/2005 01:43:00 AM  
Anonymous keldar said...

Manners cost nothing! Thats what I drill into my children, it pays of though, they always ask to leave the table, chew with their mouth closed, add "please" and "thankyou" to a sentance.

What makes me laugh is when their friends come round for meals, our kids will tell them about talking whilst chewing and getting down from the table without asking, such fun to watch :-)

6/14/2005 04:36:00 AM  
Blogger Mary P. said...

Well mannered children are a delight, aren't they? People routinely comment on how well-mannered my daycare tots are. And my own three, to boot. I take great satisfaction in that!

Simon: the list of rules and regs. does seem to be inordinately long once you begin imparting it to someone who knows none of them, doesn't it? Some days, when my own were little, I got mortally tired of listening to myself reminding them of this and that thing. I bored myself! But it's paid off, and of course I'm glad I did it!

Kevin: I think - I hope! - Harry is too straight to be oily Eddie. Until proven otherwise, this glass is still half full! But my pragmatic side won't let me ignore it if you're proven right.

Southerngirl: Yes, it seems that Harry will be a good example to the other boys. Though they're all reasonably well-mannered, Harry definitely outclassed them yesterday!

Misfit: Ever read Miss Manners? She's witty and fun - and she has a mission. If we all developed good manners, she contends, society would benefit, there'd be less litigation and less crime. (Think about it: what's "road rage" other than a two-year-old style temper tantrum? How many law suits could have been avoided if people could manage to say "I'm sorry"?)

So let's hear it for the responsible adults who help the kids in their lives become polite and worthy members of society. (Gee, bet none of you ever imagined you were involved in bettering the world! This looks like a job for Super-Mom! or Super-Dad! or Super-Aunt! or...)

6/14/2005 08:41:00 AM  
Blogger Mary P. said...

Hey, Kevin: if you look back at Thursday, June 9, you'll see that my eldest has responded to your comment, in a very glass-half-full way! (Is optimism inheritable?)

6/14/2005 08:46:00 AM  
Blogger Kevin B said...

Yes, a bit inheritable....but perhaps more importantly very contagious...she was obviously genetically predisposed for it... and then exposed to it for 18 or so years, she must be completely infected with the virus by now!

6/14/2005 11:12:00 AM  

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