What a Toddler Really Means by “Please”

With the general population lacking manners nowadays, teaching my daughter the basics of being polite was a high priority for me as a parent.

But as most things with a toddler, this life lesson has turned into more of a comedy routine for my 2-year-old.

The concept was hard to grasp at first. CeCe would say thank you when she was giving you something.

Like handing over a half-eaten banana as a gift and stating “thank you, Mama.” How generous of her.

Her favorite new trick has to be The Fake Burp. We taught CeCe that when she burps she should say excuse me.

Now she walks around screaming “ERP! SCUSE ME!” all the live-long day.

It doesn’t help that people in the grocery store line think it’s hilarious.

We also have The Fake Sneeze. CeCe rears back her head to deliver a cartoonish “A-CHOO!”

The dramatics of this one have led to accidental headbutts on more than one occasion.

But broken nose or not, I don’t dare forget to say, “Bless you, sweetie.” She will feign a sneezing fit resembling hay fever until I politely respond.

“Please” is still the magic word, but CeCe seems to think it’s the key to getting anything.

When I offer her milk, she says “No milk. Juice, please.”

When I explain that she’s had enough juice for the day, she becomes irate. “PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE JUICE!”

This is not begging. She is merely emphasizing that she said the word, and now I must comply. That’s how this works, right?

Working in please, thank you, and excuse me has been easy. It’s the reasoning behind each one that is slow to take.

But my toddler still has more manners than most of the people you encounter at Wal-mart, so I’m chalking this one up as a win.

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