I am starting to feel like I may have possibly screwed a few things up somewhere along the way with my youngest child.
This summer is going to be many things. But above all, this summer is going to be dedicated to manners and respect.
Ace is a ridiculously sweet little girl. Very kind-hearted, loving, and gentle. But the kid can be so dang rude some times. No matter how many times I talk to her about or threaten to punish her if she does not respond to someone when they say hello to her or ask her a question-- she NEVER does. I used to be able to brush it off like "oh, she's just at that age" or "oh, she's just being shy" or "oh, she's just being Miley." (Actually I have never used that one, but I probably should).
My point is: it's just not cool. There is a fine line between little kids being shy and just plain rude. I have seen legitimately shy children still be respectful and say "hello" and respond to people when being spoken to.
Just the other day we were at a friend's house where I met a new mom. She had already been around Ace for a few minutes and was bragging on Ace being so responsible. Apparently there was a bag of marshmallows that the kids had and Ace had given the bag to this mom. She said to me, "your little girl is so responsible, she gave me this bag of marshmallows so that the kids wouldn't get into them..." Ace, who also has insanely good hearing, was within ear shot of our conversation, and shouts to my new acquaintance, "no, actually I told you to open them." Holy awkwardness.
Just a little while later, AS I WAS HAVING A CONVERSATION WITH MY MOM ABOUT THIS ISSUE, another friend walked in and saw Ace and a couple of her friends dancing around the den and said, "oh fun, a dance party..." To which Ace quickly replied, "this is not a dance party..." In a voice I can't even believe a not quite five year old can speak in. A valley girl-ish brat voice.
The other thing she does that is just as embarrassing as incidents like the ones above, is just completely ignore people. Someone could walk up to her and say, "hey Ace how are you?! It's so good to see you!" And her typical response in that situation would be to quickly look away from that individual, look at me and make a random statement like, "I'm thirsty, Mom." And these are not strangers I am referring to. I was still forcing her to say "hello" to her teachers in the morning all the way up until the last day of school. These are people she knows. Well.
That then leads to the whole uncomfortable, "Ace, Suzie Q. said hello to you, what do you say?" She typically continues to ignore, or starts doing her most obnoxious baby voice. And I end up apologizing for her and we walk away, me angry, her promising, "I know, I know, I won't do that anymore." And that is the cycle. And it continues to this day.
I am a sarcastic human being. Lovingly sarcastic, but sarcastic nonetheless. So is basically every other adult in my family. So Ace has been around a lot of sarcasm in her life and she definitely speaks the language fluently now. And between her zingy one-liners and her blatant ignoring of others, things have got to change- drastically.
I don't know what this "Respect Bootcamp" is going to look like- but it's gonna be nuts.
Lots of Love!