Friday, March 4, 2011

The Right Words!

One of the first words Abhay learned when he started pre-school was “NO"(with an emphatic long vowel sound!) Barely two years old, had he already mastered the usage of a word that sometimes even we don’t have the guts to speak out! “Abhay, finish up your milk”…. "NO”, “It’s time for bed..... "NO”! Then came the killer …. “MINE”, once uttered meant the end of a peaceful play-date! A neglected toy will suddenly become a bone of contention for a War of Words, the only words being ‘MINE’, ‘MINE’ and more ‘MINE’!!! Of course, next he became proficient in the universal expression for any new vegetable – “YUCKY”! Abhay, why don’t you try eating this Eggplant” …. “It looks yucky”!!!

I wondered if these were the only words he picked up from the other kids in school! How about ‘please’ or excuse me’ for a change? Even to this day, getting Abhay to say “Please” or ‘Excuse me” is a challenge!

So today, I tried to give Abhay a crash course on etiquette by reading “Time to say Please” by Mo Willems. This is a simple book with brilliant illustrations that convey the obvious message. A little girl is shown eyeing the cookie jar and how should she plan to get what she wants - grab it or approach an adult with a “Please"? The author also demonstrates various situations when a “Please” may come in handy. He doesn’t stop there…..there are other words that may go a long way in taming our little shrews… “Sorry” (for an overflowing bathtub!) and “Excuse me” ( for those telephone conversations!) or a "Thank You" (after they've got what they wanted!) After reading this book, I can already see the changes….. "Abhay, can you please come to dinner table?” and “Abhay …can you please eat quickly”!! Wait…I think the right word for this is … 'Boomerang’!!


  1. It reminds me of a story I used to tell you about a man who was asked by the King to teach etiquette to an uneducated villager. But in this case, it is opposite! You become more refined while educating your Son

  2. Hello Jayanti aunty, what you say is so true. I remember when Anupama (my brat of the baby sister who is 15 now!) was much younger, we had to be very careful what we said, how we said it, and even how we behaved. She follows her mother religiously, in every way possible. Its such an eye opener!!

  3. Yes...amma! I do remember that story. Im kind of living it right now!

    @ Sahana - I can understand what was the plight of your aunt, back when Anupama was the same age as Abhay.