Friday, January 11, 2008

It's Taking!

If you have ever hung out with my family, you have heard this routine before.

Me - HEY KID (insert the name of one of our children there)?

The Kid In Question - 'What?' or 'Huh?'

Me - 'Ma'am.'

The Kid In Question - 'Ma'am?'

Me - Well, here I say whatever it was that I was going to say to the child anyway.

We are constantly reminding our children to use their manners, sometimes subtly, sometimes not so subtly. I often end a request with 'yes ma'am', to be sure that they respond with 'yes ma'am' rather than some talk back. Because you all know the control freak in me needs compliance. Not mouthiness.

I push Thomas especially hard about being a gentleman, seeing as how he has two little sisters. And well, he just needs to be a gentleman, that's why. Regardless of sisters or not. Earlier this week, on one of those days that we made a crazy run to Kroger for just those few things that I somehow managed to not have, an impression was made upon the two older kids.

We had zipped through the store with each Thomas and Sarah Grace carrying a handbasket. I needed eggs, buttermilk, cream cheese, and something else. I forget what, but it was for red velvet cake for my Dad's birthday. I had Elizabeth hiked up on my hip and we managed to elicit smiles from every female shopper over the age of fifty, me the the crew. We made it to the checkout lanes without incident and eggs still intact. There were incredibly long lines to be noon on a weekday at a rural grocery store, but we managed to find a self check out that had just one fellow in front of us. He was buying up two huge things of toilet paper. That was it.

The man was emptying every pocket on his person looking for I have no idea what, when he looked at me and mine and said, "Ma'am, ya'll go on ahead of me. You look like you got your hands full.'

Here is where the hair on the back of my neck usually bristles up. 'Looks like you got your hands full.' It usually passes the lips of some semi-patronizing woman who has 1.684 children, a dog, a white picket fence, and a flat belly. And there is usually a bit of disdain in her eyes and she gives us all the once over.

But this guy was just being genuine. He stepped aside and insisted even after my initial, "No, no, we're just fine.'

So, as we stepped around him, Sarah Grace turns around and looks at him and says, "Your a dentleman, awen't you?"

Thomas cut his eyes a little and slid a look towards the man, then declared in a slightly glowering way, "I'm a gentleman, too, Sawuh Gwace."

And the kind man and I eyed one another and both tried not to laugh at the perceived breach to Thomas's territory.

Ahhh...maybe they really are listening to our instruction. Now, about that tactfulness....

1 comment:

Lora Lynn said...

yea, i wouldn't hold my breath on the "tact" if I were you. something about genetics...