She’s not quite 2, but she’s got plenty of manners, and as a matter of fact, more than most adults I know. I’m always surprised by the level of empathy kids actually hold at such a young age. Well, at least my kids.
My daughter’s class at school has gotten in the habit of saying “you’re welcome” after just about every manners word you could ask them for. Ask her to say please? This polite young voice replies “please, welcome”. Ask her to say thank you? “Thank you, you’re welcome”. Ask her to say sorry? “Sorry, welcome”. It’s the cutest darned thing and makes her sound like the sweetest princess that ever walked this earth. Or so I think, anyway.
But it goes beyond what she’s learned at school with her friends. I suspect the constant “welcoming” is something that one of them picked up on hearing the teachers say and just started incorporating it into their manner words, with the other kids following suit.
My daughter learned the value of a kiss early on. Since she was just a year old you could ask her for a kiss, and she’d come running, lips puckered, waiting for mom or dad to plant one on her. Now she’s learned that “love you” follows a kiss, and if you are really lucky, after the kiss, she’ll point to your shoulder, say “hug”, and gently plant her head on your shoulder, her arms around your neck.
All of these little acts are completely endearing and make me love her more with every “welcome”, every hug, and every “love you” she rewards me with. This is what it’s all about. Setting the frustrations of parenthood aside and appreciating those little moments.
Soak it all in. Tis the season.