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Via Media

Only polite

Michael the Toddler (almost 3!) has learned many lessons in his brief life so far. One of them is that when you sneeze, people say either “bless you” or “Gesundheit.” So he responds in kind, politely.
He has also absorbed the lesson that something similar happens when you cough. The response to a cough is a little different, although just as dependable as what follows a sneeze.
It’s “Cover your mouth!”
So, when Michael coughs, if no one else chimes in, he says to himself and for himself, “Cover your mouth!”
Which is kind of cute.
Today, we were walking through the library, past tables (and tables…) of computer users. A man coughed. From his stroller, Michael piped up, quite audibly in the library quiet:
“Cover your mouth!”
Move along…faster, guys…

Comments read comments(16)
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Marcel LeJeune

posted October 26, 2007 at 3:55 pm

My kids like to tell people they see with a cigarette, “smoking is gross”.
My 8 year old daughter once told our new pastor, and my boss, who was in our home for dinner (in a loud whisper) “mommy, Fr. Jim is bald like daddy”.
Out of the mouths of babes.

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posted October 26, 2007 at 4:29 pm

Tee hee.

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John E

posted October 26, 2007 at 5:44 pm

My 4-yr-old son to our elderly neighbor as he was leaving after a visit: “I’m sorry you’re so old!”
I’m sure he must’ve been trying to get her to play with her in such a way that she declined with the excuse that she was too old.

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posted October 27, 2007 at 5:48 am

I love kids at that age, when they are just learning “manners”.
My favourite story, from a friend: At the supermarket with her eldest, then also around three, who got separated from his mum at the checkout. He had to get past a large woman to catch up with mum, and so he politely said to her, in a very clear and loud voice: “Excuse me wobbly lady.”

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Paul Barnes

posted October 27, 2007 at 11:15 am

Reminds me of a story when I was younger. I was with my mother in a store (Shopper’s Drugmart I believe) and it was one of the first times I saw a black man. I asked my mom in a loud voice “Mom, what’s that?”
Well, let me just say my mom was mortified.

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posted October 27, 2007 at 2:42 pm

The young visitor had been told by his parents to make polite conversation with his older cousins. Suddenly in the middle of dinner, he blurted out, “Aunt Mary, how do you like being a spinster?”
Aunt Mary was speechless.

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posted October 28, 2007 at 5:13 pm

I recall scandalizing my 4 or 5-yr old nephew by smoking a cigar beside the (empty except for our family) outdoor hotel pool.
He came over to me ashen-faced, with the look of Cotton Mather. I put it down right quick, as if it had caught fire by accident – I’d forgotten that smoking is the new mortal sin.

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Taylor Marshall

posted October 28, 2007 at 8:43 pm

Speaking of kids and what not – I thought you might like this:
Top 10 Things to Do for a Catholic Halloween:

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Therese Z

posted October 29, 2007 at 9:30 am

The story goes that I was a toddler and riding on the El to downtown Chicago, sitting on my mother’s lap. I saw a black man (possibly for the first time) and leaned forward and held out my arms and called out “Pretty! Pretty!”
My mother is STILL mortified. I’m quite pleased with myself, though.

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Chris from Canada

posted October 29, 2007 at 10:33 am

Our 3-year-old son to a friend who’d come over for dinner: “Why do you only have one hand?”
She explained; she wasn’t at all offended.

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Chris from Canada

posted October 29, 2007 at 10:36 am

Btw, I’m always amused by “Gesundheit”. It’s just the German for ‘health’, and was presumably introduced by German immigrants. Why did it catch on? Because it sounds like a sneeze.

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Heather Price

posted October 29, 2007 at 3:58 pm

We girls were waiting in the library while Daddy and The Boy were at soccer. A gentleman and his son about the same age came into the children’s section, and Rachel piped up, “It’s Daddy and Dale!”
The gentleman in question was black, as was his son.
“Well, that little boy does have brown eyes like your brother…”
I did admit to him that it could be worse to have been mistaken for my beloved husband and son.

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posted October 29, 2007 at 5:52 pm

My cousin was probably at about that age when she stood up in the middle of the homily, pointed at the priest, and shouted, “Be quiet and pray!” Proving that you can’t die of embarrassment, her grandmother lived another 30 years.
My children go thorugh a stage where they think you should say “Be careful” every time you almost fall.

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Mitch S.

posted October 29, 2007 at 8:40 pm

My three year old granddaughter is like that too. She refuses to let us start grace unless everyone at the table folds there hands as she was taught.
“Fold hands!”

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posted October 29, 2007 at 8:42 pm

LOL poor Amy… dont you just L-O-V-E those moments? I’ll bet you have got a nice sun-burn on your cheeks! lol
By the way.. we are due with number 8 in June.. hope all is well on your end…
Still waiting to see you at the TLM!! :-)

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Susan Peterson

posted October 30, 2007 at 4:35 pm

By the way they now teach kids to cough or sneeze into their elbow rather than covering their mouth with their hands. That way the germs go somewhere that isn’t used to shake hands, open doors.
I have adopted this habit myself.
I think it is a good idea.
As for funny and embarrassing child remarks…I am told that as a three year old I went up to a man on the beach and asked him if he had a penis like my daddy….
I am told that he very politely told me that yes, he did.
Susan Peterson

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