I am slowly learning that most things in the world can be solved with a simple “No, thank you.”
“Would you like to eat pureed peas?”
“No, thank you.”
“Would you like to continue to be at war?”
“No, thank you.”
It all sounds very civilized and polite. And really, it’s much more pleasant to respond with a jovial “no, thank you” rather than a more abrupt “are you out of your effing mind?!’ Honestly, which one would you rather hear?
So we’ve all been working with Jadon and Jordan on manners. And, being typical 4-year-old boys, I am proud to say that they have impeccable manners. In fact, picture Miss Manners herself. Except picture her, say...if she were to stub her toe on the edge of the table, accidentally hit her thumb with a hammer, and then follow all that up with a good ol’ smack to the fanny by that creepy Mr. Rogers guy. (My point is that she might eventually start to lose some of her cool.) And the boys, well, they are...how you say…a little rough around the edges.
But Jadon’s latest maneuver has been successful in getting him out of just about anything because it’s just so darn funny. We’ve been brushing up on the ol’ manners lately because we occasionally enjoy going in public, and it’s more enjoyable if we aren’t on the receiving end of dagger-stares from strangers everywhere we go. So we try to make nice children. (Doesn’t always work, but we try.)
So, Jadon’s scheme goes a little something like this:
Us: Hey, boys, it’s time for bed.
Jadon: No, thank you. (In 4-year-old, I’m pretty sure this translates to ‘buzz off’ or something similar.)
Us: Let’s take a bath since we’ve been outside playing.
Jadon: No, thank you. (Again, ‘buzz off, stupid adults.’)
So. He is flat out refusing to do what we ask, but he’s darn polite about it.
Then there are also the wrestling matches between the two boys. Well, usually it’s Jordan who goes up and sits on top of Jadon. Jadon will then shout, “Get off of me, pleeeeeaaase!” Which is lovely, except for the fact that he says this as he’s flinging his brother off of him and body slamming him into the floor. Once again, trés polite, but just a smidge on the not-quite-what-we-were-looking-for side.
I don’t know, but this seems to be working for him, so I’m thinking that if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. I’m considering this approach in my next several conversations:
My boss: I need you to complete that project.
Me: No, thank you. (Of course, accompanied by a sweet-as-can-be smile.)
My husband: We really need to watch the budget this month because we have a lot of things coming up.
Me: No, thank you. (Again, lovely smile to accompany the polite ‘buzz off’ statement.)
I like my new approach to life. And if all else fails, I’ll just scream at everyone, “Leave me alone, PLEEEEAASSEEE!”—as I cover my ears and stomp my feet. Hey, if it works for the 4-year-old, it'll work for me.