Friday, September 23, 2011

Toddlerisms: Manners

Somehow we have managed to turn Hannah into a very polite little toddler. She says please, thank you, you’re welcome, I love you, excuse me, good morning, and my personal favorite, “happy to see you.”
teaching a toddler manners
Clearly the face of a polite toddler

It’s so funny to think about how she picked up some of these phrases, and I wonder how much she truly understands them. When she would wake up from her naps, our dog Lia would follow me to the bedroom and wag her tail excitedly. So I started saying “Look, Hannah. Lia is so glad you’re awake. She’s happy to see you.” Now Clint and I are greeted each morning with, “Good morning, Daddy. Happy-see-you, Mama.”

I love when we walk by someone in a store aisle and she says “scuse me.” It always puts a smile on the stranger’s face, and I can’t help but be proud. And it’s too adorable when she talks to her toys: “Scuse me, Elmo. Scuse me, baby.” However, I have to wonder what she’s thinking when her courtesy extends to inanimate objects with absolutely no anthropomorphic qualities. When we were playing on the bed a couple of days ago, she moved a pair of her underwear out of the way and said, “Scuse me, panties.” I couldn’t stop laughing.

I also sometimes wonder if manners have been a little too ingrained into our little one. Occasionally she gets stuck on one track and Clint has a little too much fun with it, as evidenced by this week’s most entertaining conversation:

“Thank you, Daddy.”
“You’re welcome, Hannah.”
“You’re welcome, Daddy.”
“Thank you, Hannah.”
“Thank you, Daddy.”
“You’re welcome, Hannah.”

It went on for a little longer. Lucky Hannah. She’s about to get a baby brother who will no doubt have his Daddy’s playfully annoying sense of humor.

But even as polite as Hannah is, nobody’s perfect, so some scenarios are going to take a little more work. Today in the car I changed the radio station, and with each new song I turned to, I heard a little voice behind me say, “No, Mama.” I returned to the original song. She said “yes” and began bobbing her head to the music. She’s not even two yet and she already wants to control the radio in the car. And I thought I had another ten years…

I always thought it would take a lot of reminders to teach a kid manners, but surprisingly, our observant little sponge picked it up quickly and easily. Turns out all it takes is parents modeling polite behavior.

Well, that and obnoxiously repetitive conversations.


  1. I love your blog Rachel! :)

    This is such a great post... and so true. One of the cutest things Levi says is "weh duh" (well done). I love that one. He says it to himself all the time - very self-affirming and self-confident little guy he is. :) But he also says it to others when he thinks they deserve it. It's so, so cute.

    Love Hannah's "polite face" too. She is adorable!

  2. Thank you so much, Adriel! I'm so glad I came across your blog. I had been thinking about starting one of my own for a while, and reading yours gave me some motivation! :)

    Levi is such a cutie, and what a polite little guy. This is such a fun age. I love all the new things they come up with each day.

  3. Bahahaha that face is priceless!