Thursday, May 24, 2012

Courtesy? Or Small Talk?

Today, I'm writing on Writer's Workshop, prompt 1.) Write about a time your child embarrassed you in public.

When I was a stay-at-home mom, I didn't have the luxury of having anyone to leave my kids with when I went to do errands. My mom lives a thousand miles away.  My grandma was too frail to lift kids.  Therefore, I took my kids with me wherever I went.

I remember once taking Elissa, our two year-old, with me to do some banking.  We went in to the lobby and waited in line. I was holding Elissa's hand.  One of the tellers, who is also a neighbor, came by and visited with us and gave Elissa a handful of lollipops.  (The kind we always called "dum-dum suckers.")

"Oh, isn't that nice, tell Debbie thank you," I ordered Elissa.

She immediately dropped her head and started pulling away from me.

"Tell Debbie thank you, sweetie, or we'll have to give the suckers back."  I said in a sing-song type of voice.

Elissa shook her head and hid her face.

Debbie became embarrassed and kept saying, that's okay, she doesn't have to thank me.  I kept saying, yes, she does.

Honestly, now I can't remember how long I tried to get her to say thank you.  I just know that it ended with Elissa throwing herself onto the floor and me taking away the suckers and giving them back.

It was definitely embarrassing to have to drag your kid out of the bank.  (She wouldn't get up to walk out.) It was worth it, however.  She never again threw a tantrum in public and always said thank you.

Of course, now I know what the problem was.  Elissa hates, with a passion, small talk.  What I considered common courtesy, she thought of as small talk.

You can link up at the Writer's Workshop at the blog, Mama's Losin' It.


Morgan said...

Oh the trials of motherhood! But you held strong and set a precedent for manners ... good for you! :)

Visiting from Mama Kat's :)

Just Another Mom of Twins said...

Oh that would have been me too! The demanding a thank you not the tantrum...LOL!

Happy Thursday!

kaye said...

I think it is the lot of every mother to live through a public display of a child's temper. thanks for stopping by today. kaye—the road goes ever ever on

Karen said...

Oh, memories of our younger days...with our young ones! If only we had known back them what we know now....

LISA said...

Ouch, those situations are so painful for mom. I did this ONCE and ran into the mother and sister of a guy in our wedding. I had a two year old under one arm and a one year old under the other. Both were screaming so loudly I had to just nod politely as I passed by. I was so embarrassed and did not get the things I drove 30 minutes to get but, they listened closely the next time I listed the expectations of store behavior and we were all better off for it.
A good friend once told me motherhood would bring out the best and worst in me, she was right.
Have a blessed weekend!