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Friday, September 19, 2008

Etiquette

As she scampered from the Ikea Poang chair to the Ikea side table she looked like a little monkey. I know, they all look like monkeys. That's why we call them little monkeys so often. But really, there is no other, better metaphor. A monkey moved hand-over-hand, butt high in the air, from the chair to the table, and then evolved and stood erect.

Table-standing champion.

She had just finished a long bout of "climb onto the back of the high chair in a way that will make her mother freak out", and for some reason I was more nervous about her standing on the side table than I was about her using the high chair as a jungle gym.

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Why yes, that is a medal around her neck. She is the champion furniture climber 'round here.

"Erin. Sit down." And I flashed the sign for 'sit'.

A blank stare at me, a look over at the television to see if I was still watching the Nine Inch Nails concert on Palladia HD, and she continued to stand upright. Uncaring. As though I hadn't spoken at all.

"E-rin. Sit down!" And again I flashed the sign.

Once again she ignored me. A brief glance, a moment, but she was more interested in the near-bald Reznor on the screen.

I was a little exasperated. How dare she? Was I going to have to get up from my comfortable chair to let her know that I was Dad and I was to be obeyed in all things? How was I ever going to train her to go get beers for me by the time hockey season began if she wouldn't even sit when I told her to?

One last time. Reaching deep into my bag of tricks, my near-forgotten lore, old stories about training wild monkeys and soothing savage beasts bubbling to the surface of my brain and connecting me to the long line of parents who had gone before me, embarking on this perilous journey through obedience and respect...

"Erin. Sit down...please?"

And she plopped down immediately, grinned at me, repeated "please" and showed me how to sign it properly.

It was like magic.

23 comments:

Shireen D said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shireen D said...

Nearly every single picture of me when I was her age is me with my butt facing the camera and my leg hiked climing the piano, the rocking chair, the kitchen cabinets...

I had one my three year olds do that in class to me once...who am I kidding, I taught three year olds, it happened all the damn time. They're wiley like that.

Deb on the Rocks said...

What a sweet pea. They do make us better in a million ways.

Velma said...

Get used to being corrected by her. This is the rest of your life. Heh.

Elisa said...

Good girl! Oh, the things they teach us ;-)

anna said...

Hah! What a cutie. I wish that worked on my son, who is currently scaling the side of the cat tree. Sigh.

SciFi Dad said...

pwned!

iMommy said...

Hilarious. Sometimes, it's so simple! (And sometimes... nothing works!)

Got something for you over on my blog :-)

Jerri Ann said...

This part
"Was I going to have to get up from my comfortable chair to let her know that I was Dad and I was to be obeyed in all things?"

Yesterday we carried I cherubs with us to our marital counseling session. When asked why it is that I can't make my 3-year-old mind but I could make 40 kids that belong to someone else behave perfectly in my daycare, my answer was.....

"Because, I didn't have to get up to make them mind. I have to physically get up and force Jace to do or not to do what I've just told him 3 zillion times to take care of."

After they laughed at me, I made sure they understood I was freakin' serious. Do you know how many times I'd have to dig myself out of this confound sofa if I had to get up every time that child disobeyed me? Hell, what would be the point of ever sitting down. And, they still thought I was joking....geez, and I didn't even tell them the part about teaching him to bring me beer, geeez

bejewell said...

We've got a climber, too. He's been getting himself into his high chair for months now. I posted video of it on Vimeo and got scolded my my MIL, whom I promptly told to bite me.

P.S. Erin's gorgeous.

Headless Mom said...

I'm sorry, she's not old enough to be walking and climbing like that.

Just like mine are not allowed to be 18, 9, and 7 soon. Damn, would they listen to us and stop growing up, already?

Swirl Girl said...

it is a magic word, isn't it?

for a different kind of girl said...

Some days, I sit around the house and wait for the boys to get home from school just to do my bidding. When the remote's not working, this makes for a hella long day. I should really consider inserting this 'please' thing of which you speak.

Erin's gotten so big! She's lovely.

orlund said...

It is nice that almost anything can keep them entertained. Our girl can't even crawl around so I am climbing on the chairs to keep her entertained.

Natalie said...

wow! she is getting so big! she looks like a little girl in those pictures. the baby look is fading some...

i know not what you wanted to hear! my oldest is almost 16 so i can say that!

kittenpie said...

That'll learn ya! ALWAYS with the please!

Zip n Tizzy said...

And that's why it's the magic word.
Good manners!

Jenni said...

Wow, making Daddy say "please?" What's the sign for "trouble?"

Cindy and Co. said...

Y'all are much nicer than we are. Our magic word is "NOW". I tend to try not to ask them to obey. We have been through a couple of climbers here and Hubby still can't pass a waterfall with out scouting the path to the top. It stopped bothering me after awhile but Grandma...thats another story.

Redneck Mommy said...

She has you by your short hairs.

You are doomed.

BHWHAHAHAH.

Have fun with that.

Oh ya, and she is beyond adorable. She's beautiful. But you already knew that.

The Microblogologist said...

She showed you, hehehe! Niecey learned to climb at an early age as well, she is not as bad at 5, thankfully she survived that phase! Erin is quite adorable, but then you already knew that =)!

Karen

Aunt Becky said...

Dude. Adorable. She's adorable.

Alex is ALWAYS climbing on crap like that. Drives me bonkers.

Kelley said...

We used to use signing with Boo. Not cool to go to a fancy schmancy restaurant and when the waiter comes to take your order you sign 'wait' to him.

Just giving you the heads up dude, cause you do that and they spit in your soup.