Tuesday, 26 August 2014

On Manners

Eddie's favourite word is, and has been since he first began to utter human sounds, 'no'!

It is usually delivered as a short bark and accompanied by a frown and a pout that would give a blob fish a run for it's money:

And he is incredibly demanding.  The phrase you are most likely to hear after, 'No!' is, 'I want...' with the emphasis on 'want' and usually in relation to some ridiculous request. 'Spoiled brat' might have been too kind an epithet. In fact, I hadn't realised how bad it had got until we were on holiday with friends and relatives and I was suddenly finding his behaviour very difficult to deal with. Worse than simply terrible twos because there seemed to be no let up.  (Though I do look back over posts from a couple of years ago when Gilby was the same age and the tone is remarkably similar...)

So with time off together I have spent much of the summer working on his manners.  We have been practising how you ask for things and appropriate responses.  It has taken a good deal of will power on my part, but having been at home with them all for five weeks now I have got used to ignoring anything that isn't accompanied by at least a 'please'.

And, success, of sorts: Eddie has perfected the art of an elongated 'plee-ease' accompanied by an irresistibly cute grin, which, whilst irritating, is much more palatable than what came previously. It's significantly more successful than his previous modus operandi, and I think he's managed to work that out for himself. Could you say no to this?

I'm going to ignore the grammar though, because he now begins most requests with 'Please MAY CAN I have...' which his siblings find highly amusing. Again, not right, but much more preferable than what came before and I'm just not sure he's quite ready for a lesson on modal auxiliary verbs yet.

Currently reading: A Gathering Light by Jennifer Donnelly

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