Tag Archives: manners

The Politics of Playdates

Heck, it’s hard enough working out playdates with adults (y’know, bromances, girlie crushes, etc.).

When the little critters you’re trying to put together to have fun are in primary school, then it just gets silly. Fortunately DD has some fabulous friends who are so much fun to have over here at our place to play. We walk to a nearby playground, rush round the wetlands, play on the swings and slides and climbing equipment, meet strange dogs and sometimes meet new little kids, too.

And then there are the playdates that make Mummy reach for a Valium or two.

I was amused to read 10 Kids you don’t want to invite for a playmate.

I’m pleased I haven’t met a number of those little horrors (maybe you shouldn’t be eating anything while you read about #1), but let’s say that the kid who thinks it’s ok to rummage through my pantry or my bedroom will not be invited back. Even worse are The Terminator and The Wolf. Those kids find out what my crabby face is. I tell their parents what they’ve done. (That’s not tattling – that’s considered parental networking in Meowmie World.) What’s wrong with these kids? Who said they didn’t have to pay any attention to boundaries? Do they do this at home?

Anyway, such children don’t tend to get invited back.

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Posted by on July 29, 2013 in Uncategorized


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Mind Your Manners

OK, I had to come up with something better than my previous post. I can’t stay depressed all day.

Here is a link to Alison Godfrey’s blog on the blog list.

If a toddler saying β€œta” can make shop assistants smile, there must be far too many people out there without basic manners. And certainly, parents must forget to teach their kids to say those important words.

But am I expecting too much? Do you teach your kids to say please and thank you? Do you think Australians have forgotten their manners? Or do you think those little courtesies are outdated and not needed?

I have done similar things with DD. She says “Please” and “Thank you” but it’s the result of constant repetition and praise. She’s learnt that you get sweeter results when you ask politely, and people are nice to you as well. Bonus all round. I’ve noticed a number of people smiling at DD when she asks for something politely and I’m sure that politeness adds to charm (hey, I’m her mum and I’m meant to be biased!).

We’ve been working on “Please may I be excused?” for table manners after I discovered she would wriggle free and wander off once she’d eaten the interesting things on her plate. The other thing that drives me nuts is the constant “What? What?” when she mishears what I say or was woolgathering when I gave her a task to do. I figure she could at least say “I beg your pardon” which would be a change from “What?” Still a work in progress. I’m not perfect, nor is she.

So what would I like to change in this world? I’d like adults to be more responsive to little kids who say hello to them – I’m not asking for a conversation, just a polite “hello” in return. I’d like adults to model better manners as much as possible so that DD can’t turn to me and say “But *he* pushed past us!” I guess I can live in hope that DD’s shriek of anguish at people’s rudeness will carry down the supermarket aisles or post office queues and land firmly in the ears of the rude people who offended her.

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Posted by on February 8, 2010 in Blogs, Child Development, children, manners


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Widow’s Cooties

C’mon, there are probably better ways to describe it but you know what I mean.

It’s the germs that people with bad luck or awful situations have. It’s the aversion that the ‘lucky’ or the ‘healthy’ or ‘functional’ have towards those who are in bad places.

I’ve experienced this with mental health – apparently nobody likes depressives (which makes recovery even more difficult) and one place thought that all I needed was prayer, more prayer and possibly an exorcism to remove my spirit of wilfully not obeying the Lord’s wish that I worship him gladly. I tell you, gladness is not on a depressive’s mind.

What about widows? Ah, they’re a special category. Providing that they are ‘morally pure’, then they are deserving of pity, maybe charity if the situation merits it, and also should be kept at the back of the cupboard so nobody can see them. They’re not meant to celebrate anything or even show an occasional flash of humour.

Most of all, widows shouldn’t count on being spoken to at all. No Christmas cards (even when the widow sends a card to you), no phone calls during the holiday season (it’s time they got over it, you know), and don’t even think of asking them to come to supper or enjoy a coffee with you. It’s not as if they’ll notice you having fun with others and pointedly not even inviting the widow.

Bitter? Not quite. I’ve found out who is my friend, who can’t be trusted, and who thinks I will contaminate them. In a strange way, that is one of the best gifts of Christmas.


Posted by on December 22, 2009 in holidays, Life Matters


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How many shopping days until Christmas?

I would faint at the closeness of Christmas and how it seems to have come at an alarming speed this year, except, well, something seems to have happened.

I simply don’t give a stuff.

I have bought presents for my immediate family and my in-laws. One gift certificate to buy (either today or tomorrow). I have some presents for my darling daughter. I’m not sure how I’ll get round to buying anything else. Chronic conditions have returned thanks to stress and I am honestly not up to fighting crowds in the mall, and it’s a bit late for internet ordering. I figure, as long as I’ve covered the important bases, that’s it.

I’ve given up on Christmas cards. I’ve sent out the most important ones. I feel too exhausted to sit down and write more.

I realise that the reason why I feel that way is because I’ve had weeks of writing thank you notes after DH’s funeral. I lost count of the number of notes I wrote after I had written 50. I now see why people put an ad in the paper under the heading of “Return Thanks”. Not my sort of thing and I honestly can’t put my finger on it. Maybe it’s logic – not all those who assisted at that difficult time are all from this same city. Maybe it’s the manners that were drummed into me – always send a handwritten note, even if it is only a few words to express your appreciation for kindness.

Today DD gave her Christmas card and a box of chocolates to the staff at her childcare centre. She had great pleasure in signing the card with her name and adding a couple of kisses to it. (My mum taught her that – fantastic, Mum!) I am very proud of her desire to write to people, even if it means I have to write down what she dictates.

I have cut down on the amount of television DD is allowed to watch. None at all on some evenings, maybe half an hour (Dora the Explorer or Sid the Science Kid are great favourites). It depends upon DD’s mood, how much I need to do without her under my feet, and what things we two are doing together. I can tell when I am having a ratty day: those are the days when DD gets over an hour of television and is a total pill to get to bed. She reacts like it’s a drug, honestly. So hard to get her tushy out of the chair and get her to clean her teeth, etc. It’s easier to avoid the television in the first place if at all possible. I’m not saying it’s always possible. I’m only human, I have limited time to get dinner made and I would rather we sit down to eat dinner together. No television at meal times. Think of it as an end of year resolution. Much easier than those made on New Year’s Eve.

Speaking of resolutions, you’ll be pleased to hear that I have managed to keep one of them. I am not watching repeats of TV programs that I had previously seen. I suspect I still watch too much TV (and exactly what is too much for adults?), and I have deliberately tried to read more books, though that’s easier said than done when there is a certain somebody who loves to interrupt her mum. πŸ™‚


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