“Mommy,” said our 5 year old friend. “Mommy, M says please.”
“Yes, he does.” his mommy answers.
“But Mommy, he’s 2. Kids at kindergarten don’t say please.”
My boy was the polite toddler with long golden curls and equally messy pronunciation.
Mama, peese. Singsong. How I’d wake most mornings.
When the baby points, a common response is to hand the item to the baby or to say no if it’s not baby safe. Second response, for those trained in language development or blessed with the gift of gab, is to also name the object. Milk. Cup. Ball. Mama. Keys. Glass – no glass.
I skipped the first step. Baby M pointed to the cup and I said cup. If baby M wanted the cup, he learned to use the asking word.
I’m still amazed at how much of this inquiry was about knowing, not about having.
By pausing, slowing the process down – many times, naming was enough.
Pre-school dampened this effect by not requiring “please”. And yet it still works. Like when he and his friend wanted snack. Their request was more demanding than asking at first. But with my prompt, “What’s the asking word?” I was pleased to hear they both knew what I meant.