Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Ruler of the Rules

Or, I could have alternately titled this, "Miss Bossy-Pants."  Seriously, this child is out of control. 

In a good way.

I think...

Samantha is a real stickler for rules.  Not sure if this is a characteristic of the extra 21st chromosome, a kid-thing, a genetic reflection of her goody-two-shoes mommy, or a sign that we've done our jobs right as parents, but tell her the right way to do something, especially when it comes to safety, and she takes it and runs with it.
Nobody (that's Nobody) may ride in our car without a seatbelt.  While that's a rule I, myself, am only too happy to enforce, I don't actually have to, as my little guard dog, Samantha, has a 6th sense about it.  Let the car roll forward two feet with someone else in the back seat who hasn't yet fastened their seatbelt, and trust me, they get an earful from her.  Loud. And. Clear. 

*(Of course I will only mention in passing the night a few weeks ago, when we went to the Festival of Lights at a local park and allowed her the oh-so-naughty-and-dangerous luxury of sitting on my lap in the front seat...she really had the crap view for it in the back, the stadium nose-bleed equivalent, watching the beautifully-lit decorations at 15 mph either over our giant heads or through tinted glass...  I was surprised that Miss Bossy-Pants-Goody-Two-Shoes didn't protest conflicting moral standards, didn't show any kind of internal struggle with the battle between right and wrong, but we made it very clear that this was a one-time-deal...)*

Manners are another sticking point for her.  She says please when she wants something, thank you when someone gives her something, helps her or compliments her, excuse me when she belches (an increasingly frequent occurrence these days) or barrels past someone...you get the picture. 

On Sammi's last day of school before the Winter Break her class had a party, to which the parents were invited.  As I had to work that day, Steve attended with her.  A little girl from her class came over to the two of them and handed Steve a bottle to help her open.  After opening it, he handed it back.  Samantha watched the proceedings like a hawk, waited a few seconds after the bottle had been returned, then scolded the child:  "Say thank you to Daddy for the bottle."  Sammi spoke clearly and concisely, but the little girl, obviously not quite as good at the manners thing just yet, just looked at her.  Sammi repeated herself with a little more emphasis:  "Say *thank you* to Daddy for the bottle!"  It was clear to Steve that she was going to be like a dog with a bone if he didn't intervene, so he said, "She did, honey.  It's okay.

And Samantha was satisfied with that. 

It's just so hard not to laugh during these moments.  Samantha was absolutely right, and we have to be careful to reinforce and not to minimize the moments.  But we certainly laugh in the retelling, and look forward to passing the stories of her childhood down to her when she's older and can laugh with us.

I can deal with her instructing me to hold on to the railing as we go downstairs ("so you can be safe"), the need for her to hold on to my shoulders when I'm on the toilet in a public restroom ("don't fall in, Mommy!" - this one thankfully passed once she was big enough to sit on the potty unassisted...), the demand that we respond appropriately ("Say excuse me, Daddy..." - sorry, Steve - just splitting the examples between the two of us...LOL), the frantic plea to put dirty tissues where they belong ("no, Mommy, not in the toilet, in the *trash!*"), and all the other little Mini-Mommy/Daddy things she's observed and repeated so carefully and appropriately...

I guess a little bit of OCD never hurt anyone.

And now, just because...moments from spring 2008, 2 years old...
Looking at this photo is like looking at myself at that age...the resemblance is startling.  Exploring her world, lost in the moment...

A true child of summer, a ray of sunshine, finding joy in her universe, creating joy in ours.

9 comments:

Anna Theurer said...

Sammi cracks me up! She must be the most polite child ever! Ellie knows all about clean up. When it is time to clean the blocks up, she must separate every single block. If I toss in a stack of blocks, she removes them and separates them. Let's hope Ellie will be like Sammi with the please, thank you, and the seat belt :)

Alicia Llanas said...

oh we are working with Elias that soemtimes doing things different is ok, because oh boy he can get loud too !

you should take a video of sammi, i would love to 'see' her :)

Angel said...

That is awesome!! What I wouldn't give for Coop to follow a few more 'rules'! ;) He is a whirlwind crazy man. He does prefer every door to be shut, and does laugh and say excuse me after he fake burps, but that is about it. :) Nice work with your polite little lady.

Becca said...

Oh, yes! I forgot about the door-shutting! Sammi is obsessive about that. LOL I have to stop her sometimes, to keep her from locking cats in rooms.

Kimberly said...

I think it may be a random thing as the nerdlet is the one that this describes. Hopefully Sammi doesn't make up her own extra rules (like the nerdlet won't pee and poop in the same potty). It may not though as the bear cub is starting to exhibit a little of this - like the door shutting.

Cindy said...

Great post! If she's going to be obsessive about something, good manners are the best!

Jenny said...

Haha, I love Sammi and I love how she has such fabulous manners :)
Great post!!!

wendy said...

Claire is our door shutter, if anyone leaves a door open she will shut it! She is also our miss manners!

Lisa said...

That is so funny - Cate does the same things. I can't tell you how many times I've heard "Mommy Seatbelt to be Safe" before I'm even out of the garage or "Mommy tell Daddy thank you for making dinner"!