Posted by Fitz

The Bean’s great aunt recently gave her a CD full of tunes that all, somehow, manage to incorporate her name.  It’s a great CD, she loves it, and I’m sure it will eventually be on the list of things that contribute to my institutionalization.  However, all this is beside the point.

One of the songs says, “Beanie has manners, and that’s what matters!”  This one line in this one song is haunting me.  We’ve been working for what feels like forever on manners – specifically please and thank you – and The Bean gets the concept but doesn’t want to apply it.  When pressed with a “What do you say?” after she demands something, she’ll look at you with a gap-toothed grin and yell, “PEAS!”  That’s good.  When prompted with anything that resembles a request for a thank you, however, she’ll look at you with her huge green eyes and say one of the following:

  • “I NEED it!”
  • “I want it!”
  • “Now!”

And that’s after she gets what she wants! If someone other than her parents give her a gift, she grabs it and runs away, not a thank you in sight.  I know she’s just shy of two, and asserting her independence.  I know that she doesn’t really get why she has to say these things, and why manners matter at all – in her world, it’s all Beanie all the time, and why shouldn’t it be?  What gets me, though, is that she knows what she should do and say.  I see that mischeivious little glint in her eye, the raised eyebrows, the half smile when she responds to my request in a way that does not align with my expectations.  The best was last night as we were finishing dinner:

Bean: “All done! Out!”

Mom: “What do you say when you’d like to get out of your chair, Bean?”

Bean: “OUT!”

Mom: “What do you say, sweetie?”

Bean: “NOT IN HERE!”

While I appreciated her explaining what she meant by “out”, a please and thank you would have sufficed.  It seems like we’re going to have to keep working on manners…probably till she’s about 18 or so.  Maybe more songs will help?