Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A Situation Where "Excuse Me, Please" Will Get You Dirty Looks

photo by brendan76

We have been working on teaching our two-year old manners.  She has mastered (as much as a two-year old can) "please" and "thank you".  Mind you, this does sometimes take a certain amount of prompting. She seems to have difficulty with saying "excuse me", instead she has a tendency to push you out of her way or bulldoze over you.  That is, of course, until the other week when I trekked to the local mall to check out some of the after-Christmas bargains.  My daughter then proved that she knew how to say, "excuse me" again and again and again.

I have one of those unwieldy monstrosities of a stroller.  It is a double stroller. My youngest, in her carseat carrier, sits up front and my oldest sits in the back.  She can also stand but I usually don't encourage that since she likes to hop off while the stroller is moving.  It is safer for everyone involved if she is buckled securely in the stroller.  I feel like a meanie mommy saying that but safety first.  

We visited the bookstore at the mall since they were going out of business. Since the store was 30% off there were pretty many people in the store. From the doorway, I knew that moving through the rows of books and maneuvering around the people clogging the aisles was going to take some finesse.  I bravely made my way into the store.

As we entered the store, I said "excuse me" to a woman who was perusing a book in the middle of the aisle.  She smiled and moved closer to the shelves so I could pass.

The next thing I knew, my little one started to parrot me.  "Excuse me, excuse me, excuse me," she chanted.  With each subsequent "excuse me",  she gave it a little more attitude until she was drawing each syllable out. "Excuuuussse me", "Exxxxcccuuuussse meeee".  She started giggling and moving her head side to side in time with her chanting.

Try explaining to a two-year old (calmly) that while it is polite to say "excuse me", it isn't nice to keep repeating it over and over and over.  Plenty of dirty looks were shot my way as I politely excused my way to the back of the store.  My daughter stopped her little concert after two warnings but the damage was done.  I felt like I was being judged with each glance my way. My daughter then occupied herself with a Dora book (incidentally about manners) that she spied on a shelf.  She asked, "can Emmy look at it, please".  Well, since you asked so nicely...


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