Sunday, October 3, 2010

Manners, Manners, Manners...

Reading a magazine recently, I skimmed an article about table manners.  I know the basics, my munchkins know the basics (unfortunately knowing good table manners does not equal practicing good table manners).  What caught my eye in this article was how to remove food from one's mouth.  I always instructed my munchkins to use a napkin. And that is if they didn't already hork it onto their plate.

The article stated food should be removed the same way it went in (on a fork or spoon, for example).  Napkin spits are only for emergencies.  Which, in my defense, is usually the case.  Munchkins aren't too willing to wait for proper removal when they claim, "UGH! This tastes so bad!".  That statement is always followed by an emergency napkin spit. 

The manners article had me thinking about a book I bought when the Sports Fanatic was only a few years old.  I was in a Home Goods, and Emily Post's The Guide to Good Manners for Kids was on sale.
This was back before I had a small army and I was still optimistic about raising manner perfect munchkins.  These days, after one manner correction I let the chips fall where they may.  Most days anyway.

The other night, after reading about proper food removal, I dusted off the manners book and peeked inside. We do very well in our house with "please" and "thank you"; the munchkins make their beds and feed the dog.  I have them write "Thank You" notes after their birthdays and holidays.  The munchkins have a good sense of manners and being helpful.

Unfortunately along with a grasp on what is "appropriate" (our favorite word around here), comes amusement with the inappropriate.  We have a lot of poop and underpant jokes floating around our house.  Don't even get me started on farts.  Hysterical.  Roll on the ground laughter.  I try not to laugh myself.  I hate that word by the way, "fart".  Ugh. Ick. Gross.

But as I read the manners book, and I thought about my munchkins and their fascination with bathroom humor,  I realized manners can't be mastered.  There is always room for improvement.  But life also has to be fun.

However, Reading my manners book made me determined to polish up on our manners. Myself included.

Some tips from the first 2 pages of the manners book:

Go beyond the Magic Words of "please" and "thank you".  Begin using "You're Welcome" and "No Thank You".  The munchkins have this one down.  Check.

When you desire someone's attention, or you can't hear them, use "Excuse Me".  Munchkins are mediocre on this one.  Depends on how badly they need to share news.  And forget about the not hearing someone.  The munchkins usually go with "What?!?!"  I'm cringing already.  A work in progress.

Ask rather than demand, you're more likely to receive a hand.  If my munchkins lived by this rule it would save me a lot of reprimanding.  Another work in progress.

Avoid phrases that simply fill empty space, such as "Ughhhh",  "Ya know?", or "Like, you know what I mean?"  YIKES.  After I master that one I will need to work on it with the munchkins.

Being a Mom has meant choosing my battles.  I can deal with the "WHAT?!?!" if I have a "no thank you".  Harping on every rude behavior would make me a real drag.  But overall behavior needs to be considerate and respectful.  Honesty is a must.  Yes, a lot of shenanigans slip through the cracks, but I do my best.

I choose what's important and try to keep life fun.  Tell me the truth and I can handle a fart joke.

Here are my two maniac B.F.F.'s keeping life fun...
Luckily, with the looks of these two I have a little Emily Post tucked away for emergencies.

**Thanks Julie for great pictures today!**


  1. anytime jode!! especially when it is of your most beautiful munchkins. and, if harley happens to go missing one day.... don't look at me. i also talked to chad and i have all the info for you. GO TO SLEEP!!!!

  2. I farted, ya know what I mean? LIKE and it was really bad. Ya know what I mean? Do ya know? Ya know?? UGH!! r not listening to me!! LMAO!!!! I better buy one of those books for me :)


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