How to Teach Kids Manners, Mean Ol’ Mom Style


No, I’m not exactly the best person to be talking about manners, and courtesy. I’m definitely no Emily Post. Yes, I belch so loud it shakes my house and take pride in it. YES, I write about my bowel movements on the internet. MAYBE, just maybe, I’ve even taken pictures of explosive baby shit and sent them to people. THEY DESERVED IT!

Oh, and I also put my elbows on the table, don’t always put a napkin in my lap, and occasionally, I talk with my mouth full. Some shit takes too long to chew and I have thoughts I have to get out, damnit! Just slap my wrist and send me off to etiquette school already. Though I might fail and be kicked to the curb, when it comes to my kids? Of COURSE I’m teaching them manners!  No way in hell am I gonna be the lady in the restaurant with the belching kids throwing buns at each other. Not ALL the time, anyway. Sometimes you can’t help that shit. Kids get hangry FAST!

As best I can, I try to make sure the boys are kind and courteous to strangers, even if the strangers may not reciprocate. I try to make sure they don’t let doors slam in peoples faces, especially the elderly.We’re still working on the “not farting loudly in public, especially in a crowded restaurant” thing, but that’s been a tough and disgusting habit to break.
Please? Thank you? I had better hear those before and after asking me for things. I’ve got Holden trained so well that if you don’t say thank you enough, he says “YOU’RE WELCOME!” in a snotty tone. Actually… that might not be such a good thing.

Even with all of my hard work (nagging) and dedication (nagging and threatening) to the old fashioned art of etiquette, it appears somewhere I went wrong. VERY VERY WRONG. My second child, the one with the big pinchable cheeks and contagious belly laugh… is an open sneezer. AN OPEN SNEEZER!
I don’t know when or why it started, but the child refuses to cover his mouth when he sneezes. It gets worse. He has actually gone from just open Outbreak Patient Zero beginning of the zombie apocalypse swine flu sneeze, to sneezing ON people. ON PEOPLE!!!! I’M SO ASHAMED!!

Now, he doesn’t do this shit to me because I think he fears me (and he should), but I have watched as he’s sneezed all over my Dad’s arm, and directly into my husband (his father)’s face. INTO HIS FACE!! I know I’m using a lot of caps, but it’s that serious. It’s fucking disgusting. Vile. Heinous. Atrocious. A complete failure of the teachings of manners.

He’s been punished and reprimanded and corrected in so many ways I’ve begun to lose count, and still, when the kid has a tickle in his noise and a family member nearby, they become his sneeze shield. They walked into the splash zone of Sea World and didn’t even realize it or I’m sure they’d have brought a poncho. What could we do? Thomas had had enough of having booger-filled spit sprayed all over his face, and who could blame him?

This morning the opportunity of a lifetime presented itself, and I took it. Oh yes, I did, and not one ounce of guilt do I feel.
In the middle of breakfast, Parker leaned forward and full on sneezed. ALL OVER HIS DELICIOUS PANCAKES. How dare he disrespect the sanctity of a beautifully made delicious syrup and butter covered hot cake from the heavens??
Once I picked my jaw up off of the floor, I knew what had to be done.

He sat there, looking pretty damn proud of himself, probably thinking I would do the sanitary thing and dump his breakfast in the trash because he hates food and enjoys torturing me, but no. Those pancakes had been disrespected enough already, and it was time to teach that child a lesson he wouldn’t soon forget.
“You’re eating them anyway.”
He had a look of disbelief wash over his face.
“Every single bite.”

The next 15 minutes were full of crying, complaining, general asshattery, and a whole lot of satisfaction. Mean ol’ Mom, you don’t mess with that bitch! She isn’t messin’ around!

Unconventional? Maybe. Disgusting? Sure. Effective? Well, even if nothing else was learned from having to eat a spit soaked breakfast, if he still thinks sneezing on things is awesome, he’ll at least learn to respect pancakes. Either is a win in my book.

Posted on September 5, 2014 by Holdin' Holden 1 Comment
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