Little girls confuse me. True, I used to be one. But now I’m so surrounded by boy stuff that I’ve forgotten all but the basics of girlyness.
1. I love shoes.
2. I have so many words buzzing around in my head, and I feel I must use them ALL.
3. Please, please, please, tell me I’m pretty.
These fundamentals haven’t been of much use when I’m trying to figure out why girls the same age as my boys are so vastly different. I’m convinced girls come complete with a Manners 2.0 program. But with boys it takes forever to install.
Not only do boys resist the Manners download, they actively sabotage the program—delighting in bodily functions, demanding things in monosyllabic grunts, and appearing stone deaf when told to apologize, say thank you, say hi, say anything at all.
This week I was shocked to discover that one of my boys had added the Mind Your Manners book to the charity pile. I snapped a photo of their unexpected donation, took the book out of the box, and hauled the lot to the ARC drop-off site.
Later I confronted my wrestling, burping, smelly boys about the incident. Chunky informed me that they no longer needed that book and that it was a baby book. Really? You’ve mastered the fine art of manners?
I have a plan. I’m going to hang on to this book for a few years and when my boys are teenagers, I’m gonna pull it out when they so much as belch out of the corner of their mouths. At the dinner table, in front of friends, on prom night—I don’t care—you’re reading Elmo’s Mind Your Manners until the rules stick. I’m not above planting it in their dorm rooms.
For those of you with girls, please go easy on us moms-of-boys. Not only are we mystified by the caveman natures of our little men, but slowly, we’re losing touch with our own inner fairy princesses. And if we should ever burp while out to lunch with you, forget to say please and thank-you, or appear in mismatched clothing and smelling of cheese, please present us with a copy of Mind Your Manners and gently guide us back to The Girly Side.