She Says… Polite But Annoying

Owen has a new habit. And I’m not really sure where it started, or if he even has any idea how “proper” he’s being. All of a sudden, he wants to wait for everyone in the house to sit down before he starts eating. Mr. Manners, I tell you. (Ha! Hardly.).

Now before you start “awww”ing, let me tell you how this usually plays out. At breakfast, I’m used to getting his food together first so he is occupied and entertained while I make my own breakfast. It used to work out great — he would chatter away and eat his little tiny pieces one at a time while I made my oatmeal or eggs or cereal and we would both generally finish eating around the same time. Now he’s all “I wanna wait for you, Mommy!” “Can you sit?” “Are you ready yet?” “Can you sit?” “Where’s your breakfast?”  “Can you sit down next to me, please?” “What are you having?” “Can you sit?”. I’m trying to use the opportunity to teach waiting and patience and all of those other skills that are elusive to a 2 year old. But honestly? The incessant questioning when I just want to sit and eat grates on my nerves. JUST EAT, CHILD. PUT FOOD IN YOUR MOUTH AND STOP TALKING FOR A SPLIT SECOND.

At lunch it’s a similar scene. Usually we’re coming back in from a walk or a morning at the playground or running errands, and it’s a bit of a hodge podge of eating and putting away groceries or cutting veggies for a salad and scrambling to make sure we have time to finish before naptime. We generally do sit together and eat (lest you think we’re always eating on the run… we’re not), but someone’s lunch has to be ready first, and the choice has become 1. make my own lunch first and risk the I’m-so-hungry-feed-me-now-meltdown, or 2. make his lunch first and try my best to ignore the sit-down-with-me-I’m-not-eating-until-you-sit, uber-polite-but-also-very-annoying habit.

Dinner is easier, because we always sit at the table as a family and eat together. Perhaps that’s what he’s trying to tell me after all — that he likes sitting and eating together and would like to do it for every meal. Well, so would I if someone else was doing the cooking and cleaning 🙂

All in all I’m sure it’s not the most annoying thing he’ll ever do (far from it!), but for now it’s right up there with YELLING “excuse me!” when I’m talking to someone. Polite (he’s saying the right words to be polite), but incredibly annoying (his delivery could use some work).

I guess they have to start somewhere.

What other polite but annoying habits do I have to look forward to?!


10 responses to “She Says… Polite But Annoying

  1. Frankly, I’m surprised that he ever ate alone. Mine hasn’t done that…uh, ever? She likes company 🙂 I don’t find it to be a big deal to sit with her for 3 meals a day, at least she snacks alone.

    At least he’s not insisting that you bathe with him? 🙂

  2. My kids are the opposite. If I put their food on the table first (this applies only if it’s something they like – when it’s something they didn’t want, that’s a whole other situation), even if I plan on sitting with them to eat, it will be gone by the time I get to the table with my food. At dinner time we have to forbid them to start until everyone is seated. It doesn’t always work, but they’re getting a little better.

  3. Aww, sounds like he wants more time with YOU more than anything, and maybe feels eating together may be a rare opportunity to try to get as much Mommy Time as possible.

  4. @Kara, By “alone”, I mean that I am arm’s reach across the counter from him cutting up my own food. There is no “alone” 🙂

    @Julie, Owen used to be the same. I’m not even sure when the tables turned!

    @Ann, Thanks. Apparently the humor in my post didn’t exactly come through! This is not an issue I’m worried about or trying to “correct”, I think it’s funny that he wants everyone to be sitting. It’s not convenient, but I also don’t think it’s a cry for undivided attention — since I work 4 days a week, when I am with him the other days and in the mornings/at night, almost all of the time is Mommy Time. I’m rarely, if ever, on the phone, never on the computer, and always concentrating on him. I don’t even shower or exercise when he’s awake! I think it’s just a phase.

  5. Oof — what’s going to happen when #2 comes along? 🙂 I mastered the art of nursing one-handed at the table while eating my food, just because Ethan used to insist that I sit with him for every meal — but I think that happened BECAUSE of #2. He was missing me and our time together. Of course, now we’re right back to “hurry up and get my food on the table first, Mom,” because he has his brother for company! Ethan’s “polite but annoying” habit: hand washing! And I know, it’s great that he likes to wash his hands, there could be worse habits! But his process takes FOREVER. And when we’re hustling out the door, I just want to grab his little hands and do it for him! Patience…something that is becoming thinner and thinner these days. 🙂

  6. I’ve been trying to get Olwyn to help me put the lunch stuff on the table and we make it together (read together as – I make our sandwiches while Olwyn’s occupied with chunks of cheese or tomato). On annoying manners, the grandparents taught her to say cheers, which turned into a constant ‘CHEERS MAMA, CHEERS DADA!’ all the way though dinner, and if you don’t clink drinks it just gets louder… We’ve also had ‘cheers spoons!’, ‘cheers shoes!’ and ‘cheers leaves!’. Cute at first, now not so much.

  7. Yes! I forgot about the hand washing. I’m not about to discourage it, but my 4-year-old scrubs up like he’s about to perform surgery every. single. time. he washes his hands, and he won’t let me help him do it faster!

  8. kate..the name of ur blog is so LONG…i mean…just forget the bookmarks..and type ur address for a moment…..and see how long it takes….i mean ..20 words..:D..

  9. @Carly and @Julie, Hahaha, I totally hear you on handwashing. Owen has gone back and forth between being militant about washing all day long and hating to wash his hands. Currently we’re in the “hate” camp, but this DEFINITELY falls in the “polite but annoying” camp.

    @Helen, Adorable. And certainly “polite but annoying”. I love these little phases 🙂

    @Anonymous, I know, I know. Sign up for email updates so you don’t have to type it in every day! Once I finally switch to, it will be a bit shorter, but the title means something to me, so it’s not going anywhere.

  10. My son has always been good at saying please. I think most toddlers are. Saying please = getting something I want! 🙂 Now though, he’ll say “please, please, pleeeeeeease!” He scrunches his nose and is so cute and I can’t help but laugh. He picked it up from an Elmo and David Beckham episode about persistence. How can I get annoyed if David Beckham is to blame?!

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