Master of Manners

December 7, 2011

It happened. I became my Mother tonight. I thought I was going to go through parenthood unscathed, but not so. Growing up, my Mom would say, “I told myself I was going to be different from my own Mother when I had kids, but I hear myself sounding exactly like her.”

And, that’s exactly what I said to my boys tonight.

I’ve been trying to instill the next level of table manners into Sam. You know, manners that go beyond “please” and “thank you.” He’s in third grade. It’s time. Time to step up. We’re in the big leagues now. Well, a farm team, at the very least.

Using his t-shirt as a napkin, is not okay. Sitting with his knee up while he eats, is not okay. Eating his dessert while he’s still finishing his turkey chili, is not okay. (Yuck.) You get the gist.

Well, tonight, I was on a tear and ranted; “Sit up straight. No elbows on the table. Use your fork and knife properly. You know better. Use a napkin. Don’t use your shirt. Put that knee down. Sammmm.”

Sam Surrenders

Sam saying, "I surrender, I surrender."

Jake Cheering

Jake is cheering, "Hooray, I'm still too young to cut my own food."

However, the cherry on top of this meal, was hearing myself say, “Listen, you’re Bar Mitzvah is only four years away. We have to get a handle on this.” What? Did I really say that to my nine year old? I’ve officially entered “Batshit Crazyville.”

I’d like to blame Mark for this, but I can’t. Damnit. Well, maybe I can, a little. I’m sure I can figure some way to hold him responsible.

I took a breath, sat down across from Sam, and said, “Sorry. Forgive me?”

“Maybe,” He said through a half-smile and a mouth full of ice-cream.

“Maybe? Alright. You think about it,” I countered.

“Okay. I forgive you,” Sam declared.

We smiled at each other. I told him how I reminded myself of my own Mother at that moment. Not in the good way. But, in the naggy deep sigh kind of way.

I also told him, “I’m not worried. You will have beautiful table manners by the time you’re Bar Mitzvah’d.

We looked at each other and laughed. Oy vey.


Sam and Utensils

Sam slicing through his ice-cream sandwich with incredible dexterity.


What age do you think kids should be learning dining etiquette, beyond the basics?

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Kim Cyzner December 8, 2011 at 1:44 am

The earlier the better and hope they are actually listening!!!

Leave a Comment