Tag Archives: Manners

Don’t Point!


As a child, I was taught not to point.  I was told it was rude, but honestly, I never understood why.  No, I didn’t like my sisters sticking their fingers in my face (if it ever happened I don’t remember), but for the ease of pointing out something in the distance, I couldn’t understand why sticking out my index finger was such a problem.

As a parent, I’ve had to teach my boys not to point.  Pointing has never really been an issue with Thing 2, however with Thing 1…  Well…  When he started pointing it was with his middle finger rather than his index finger.

“Look, mommy!” he would yell in the middle of somewhere public.  Simultaneously his middle finger would pop up and point across a crowded restaurant or grocery store.  I would get the look of distaste from grown-ups all around me, and a raised eyebrow indicating they were wondering what other select gestures I had taught my son.

None, people.  Those select gestures are all him.

Pointing really wasn’t an issue in my house for the past couple of years until…  We got Beezley.  A trailer park treasure, Beezley is trouble all the way.  Upon finding him on the counter a few months back, Dave pointed at him and directed him to get down.  His direction was answered by a swift swing at his finger and a refusal to move.  Over time Beezley’s distaste for Dave’s pointer finger has increased to the point (no pun intended) that he will leap feet off the ground in effort to claw it.

So for all you parents trying to teach your children not to point, show them this video.  Tell them not to point or the kitty with claws may get them.

People Say the Darndest Things


Forget kids.  People of all ages say ridiculous things.  Tactless sentences come out of people’s mouths and my eyes explode open with the weight of my jaw dropping, unable to say, “Really!?”

Here’s the last two days…

1.  “When is the baby due?”  This not only happened to me, but also to a co-worker friend of mine.  Undeniably we’ve both gained weight.  Unfortunately for her, she hasn’t been pregnant in four years.  Unfortunately for me I’ve lost two pregnancies this year.  But those last two sentences are irrelevant.  Why do people ask “When are you due?” if the person they’re asking clearly does NOT have a baby bump?


This is not my belly, but if there’s any question of whether my belly looks like this or if it’s actually housing a baby, don’t ask me when the baby is due!

2.  “Geez, he’s gained a lot of weight.”  Some people are blatantly rude on Facebook, and I let this person know I didn’t appreciate the comment even though it wasn’t about me.  Tact, people.  Tact.  Actually, I’ll make it even easier for you: Don’t tag me or my non-Facebooking-family I approve the pictures.  Better yet, don’t post the pictures until I approve them.  If you’ve got pictures of me, I’m sure I’ve got pictures of you.

3.  This one’s my favorite…  “Those look like poor people pants.  Did you buy them at Goodwill?”  It wasn’t geared toward me or my family, but unfortunately the statement and question came out of Thing 1’s mouth.  Yes, my nine-year-old son asked our friend’s girlfriend if she had bought her $50 jeans at Goodwill.  Surely you’ve seen the kind with the rips built-in.  And I won’t deny that I’ve wondered why people would spend so much money on clothes with holes in them.  But geez, son!  Didn’t I teach you to be polite?


Dear Unborn Daughter (that I’m not pregnant with)…  When I give you $50 for clothes, do NOT come home with a pair of ripped jeans or you’ll be paying me for the gas we use to go return them.  XOXO, Mom

Un-Perfect Parent


Before I start criticizing other parents, I have to share…  I’m not a perfect parent.


  • Let the occasional cuss word slip in front of the boys
  • Play Monopoly with Thing 2 on my Kindle just so I don’t need to pick up the mess

Fruits and Vegetables

  • Don’t always serve fruits or vegetables with dinner
  • Will tell the boys they can play on the PS3 if they let us sleep longer
  • Have overflowing laundry baskets waiting to be taken care of

    Rated R

  • Let the boys watch rated-R and scary movies

Hide and Go Seek
  • Will play Hide-and-Go-Seek with the boys, then take a little longer to find them just for a few extra minutes of quiet
  • Am a push-over and will let them have second desserts

With all this said, however, I/we support our children in Every.Single.Way.Possible.

Thing 2 likes to ask me, “Mommy, what should I be when I grow up?”  My only response, thanks to my parents, is “Whatever you want as long as you are happy and it’s legal.”

Seriously.  How can I/we NOT support our children and their dreams and ambitions?  When it comes time for them to graduate high school (attending/graduating high school is NOT a question, unless they become a superstar before then, at which point private tutors will be hired), I can not deny that yes, I will push them in the direction of college.  However…  If college is not for them, that is their decision, not mine/ours.

Just recently I have met a really great young lady, in her very early 20’s, who is in college out West.  During the course of conversation, it came out that her parents don’t want her to go to college, so they are making it as difficult as possible for her to go.  For example, they purposely turn in the FAFSA forms late so she doesn’t qualify for aid and can’t get student loans.  Yes, I’m serious.  And because she’s not yet 23 she can’t file independently.  I want to drive 1,000 miles and smack them.

I don’t care if you have money to put your kids though college.  If any of ours were heading off to college next month they would be on their own (financially).  We could/would send them monthly allowance, but beyond that, our assistance would be co-signing on student loans.  But we would do that.  Without a doubt, we would do that.

Between Dave and I, our oldest is about to be 13.  This gives us 5 years to prepare for what she wants to do post-high school.  In the meantime, we have 8 years and 12 years before Things 1 & 2 will be old enough, and that many years to have any say in their lives.  We can control our kids’ curfew when they’re old enough to go out without us, have a say in whether or not they can drive, and try to have a say in who they date (but I only plan on having a say in that if the age difference could get either of them in trouble).  Beyond that it’s our time to support and nurture them.

In the time that has passed since I left Turtle (the name we have given the boys’ dad), I have been amazed by the progress our little family has made.  With Dave’s help, the boys have become much more responsible, respectable young men.  Rather than have to think about what we can’t do because of their bad behavior, we now look forward to what we CAN do as a family.  It’s all a matter of respect, both given and received between the four of us, and we’re a happy, healthy family unit because of it.

Family Picture

Emotional Fleas


I’m itchy this morning.  Seriously.  My neck, arms, face and chest are itching, and where I’m sitting there is no appropriate way to scratch it away without looking like the the crack-head character on The Chappelle Show. (itch)

My itching isn’t skin irritation, however.  It’s not an allergic reaction, Poison Ivy or Poison Oak either.  It’s emotional fleas, I’m sure of it.  (itch)

Emotional fleas are those people in my life who crawl under my skin and do their best to be a nuisance every second of my life.  (itch) Their sole mission is to remind me that yes, they are still in my life no matter how little I want them there.  Unfortunately Dave and I both have our own BIG, individual, emotional fleas in the form of exes, and they (the fleas) both decided to raid our peaceful nest at 7am this morning. (itch)

As much as we both wish we had never met our EF’s, we have to thank God for putting them in our lives, for without them we would never have met each other.  And without mine, I wouldn’t have two wonderful sons that I love with all my heart. 

I continue to struggle, however, with holding my tongue when he sends a barrage of harassing text messages and emails.  I want so badly to tell him exactly what I’m thinking.  However, the Jesus said, “The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” ~Mark 12:31  But oh, I am human.  And ohhhh, how I struggle with this.

How’s Your Desk-Side Manner?


I like my job.  I really do.  But occasionally I see situations which could have been handled differently and people who could act…  Better.

Would you like to make your work-day more enjoyable for you and your colleagues/boss/employees?  Think about some of these…

1.  Positive, Negative, Positive:  As a college student at one of the top art colleges in the country, I had to participate regularly in critiques.  One of the most valuable lessons I learned in critiques was how to critique a classmate in a way that wouldn’t offend him/her.  Simply put, always start with a positive.  Nobody wants to hear somebody slam something they’ve done right off the bat.  If you proceed your criticism with a positive, and immediately follow the criticism with another positive, the blow will be much easier to hear and digest.  The listener won’t be so eager to defend him/herself and their work, but will be more willing to listen.

Think about this technique at home and during extra-curricular activities as well.  Did your significant other or child do something you don’t like?  Let him/her know, but use the positive, negative, positive technique and I can guarantee your chances of an all-out brawl will greatly decrease.

We’ve also used this technique at Junior Baseball practice.  Our 6-9 year old players LOVE to hear they’ve done a great job, so rather than jump on them for not catching the pop-fly, we say, “Name!  That was a great job hustling to catch the ball!  The next time a batter is up to the plate, let’s see what happens if you’re watching instead of playing in the dirt!  I bet you can get to the ball on time if you’re not making dirt angels!” 

2.  Listen First, Talk Second:  It’s difficult to hear what somebody’s trying to say if you’re interrupting them, or even if you’re thinking of what to say next while they are talking.  We all have co-workers who LOVE to listen to themselves talk, however try listening first and speaking second and you will gain tremendous respect from them, and you may actually learn something while you’re at it.

3.  Smile as You Pass:  I am constantly amazed at how many of my co-workers will pass me in the corridor and pretend I’m not there.  They will look the other way, rather than have to make eye contact, or heaven-forbid, say “hello.”  Are you one of these people?  I can pretty much guarantee you that your co-workers won’t turn into monsters and bite you if you look them in the eyes.  And who knows?!  Maybe that smile and little bit of small talk will turn an ordinary passing into a bigger opportunity for you within the company.  I don’t directly work for any manager in my building besides my own, but through the simple gesture of a smile and a “Good morning, Name!”, all the other managers (including my boss’s boss) know my name and pay the same respect toward me.  Come time for me to go out for a promotion in a different department, I’d like to think this little bit of recognition will help!

4.  Tell the Truth:  We’ve all heard of Pinnochio, and we all know what happened when he told lies.  What we didn’t know as children, however, is that our nose doesn’t grow if we lie, our reputation shrinks.  One lie turns into another when you need to cover up your tracks.  Then you lie when your lies are discovered.  All those lies catch up with a person at some point.  I won’t deny that I went through a period in my life where my life was lies.  I used lying as a coping mechanism.  I was wrong.  Since leaving that (part of my) life, I’ve been honest.  I’m honest with myself, I’m honest with my loved ones, and I’m honest at work.  I make mistakes and I’ll admit them.  I’d rather admit my mistakes up front than have to admit a string of lies later on down the road!  And you know what?  I’m a happier person, even when I have to admit I am wrong.

5.  Don’t Gossip:  It’s simple really…  The latest buzz that you heard from Nancy who heard from Bob who heard from Sally who heard from Susan who heard from Roger is probably wrong.  And changes are, if it is true, the person at the root would probably appreciate you not spreading THEIR life story with another dozen people.  Just think of all the time you could be dedicating to work if you weren’t gossiping?!

6.  Leave Your Personal Life at Home:  We all work with one person who does it…  He/she brings a bad attitude to work at least once a week, and it has nothing to do with you or any of your co-workers.  You say good morning to the person, just to hear, “What’s so good about it?”  Yea, it sucks.  So don’t be that person.

Are you having a bad day?  Then pop in your favorite CD or turn on your favorite playlist on your MP3 player and get it out of your system.  Splurge on your favorite (non-alcoholic) drink on the way to work, even if it means you’ll be ten minutes late.  Nobody deserves to put up with the verbal diarrhea coming out of your mouth, so make sure it’s been taken care of by the time you clock-in.  Or if you can’t control your bad mood, do everybody a favor and take a sick day.  It’s not that we don’t care  about our co-workers, but bad moods are contagious!  My husband doesn’t want me bringing somebody else’s bad mood home with me, and I’m sure your significant other/child/pet doesn’t want you bringing home mine!

Pregnant Pet Peeve #1 – Potty Manners


Alright, maybe it’s just the pregnancy speaking, but since when did Ladies Rooms take on Mens Room manners? Perhaps I just missed all the untidiness before, but now that I’m using the restroom at work up to six times a day, I’m noticing the disrespectful cleanliness some of my co-workers show towards their colleagues.

For instance, and this is a small one… (please note *she* refers to no one in particular, however since it’s the ladies room I know the perpetrator(s) is not a male)

How hard is it to remove the paper seat cover off the seat when she is finished with her business? I don’t care what’s done with it after she removes it (as long as it’s flushed or thrown out), but why should I have to take care of her seat cover?

In addition, how hard is it to…

… flush as many times as she needs to after she poops to remove any evidence of what she ate yesterday?

… thoroughly push her feminine product into the box conveniently placed in the stall’s wall?

… pick up paper towels or pieces of toilet paper that fall on the floor?

OK, I think that’s it for now. Flush.