I always figured I wouldn’t encounter this argument until later down the road of rebellion and insistence, not at the ripe age of 14 months old. I guess that’s what I get for thinking it would be cute to teach Kendall to use his new-found love for baby sign language to express things like please and thank you. As I’m sure you can imagine, thank you is taking a lot longer than please because there’s no incentive for him to do it. It’s very much like training a dog to sit. You don’t give them the treat first and then expect the to sit out of gratitude.
Please, though, that was pretty easy. I would say in a matter of one afternoon he grasped the concept of rubbing his chest (the baby sign) when I asked him to say please. By the next day he was pointing to what he wanted and signing please without me having to ask. Let’s just say I was THRILLED! OMG. My young son has manners at such and early age. What a fun party trick! Surely this means he is at least on the path to becoming a mature, respectable, considerate young man. And, of course, I rewarded his requests when accompanied with his adorable gesture… at least for a day.
Then it started to get ridiculous. Then he started pointing to things like the pot of coffee and steak knives. Then he started hanging on the door of the pantry signing please incessantly only minutes after lunch. It’s become a tad too much. He looks at me, as he’s pointing and signing for yet another cinnamon roll, like he’s saying, “Woman. I am doing the monkey trick for you. Now I want that roll, damnit!” When I say no, tell him he’s already had enough, it’s time for bed, he begins signing even more furiously, now rubbing his chest with both hands. “I am REALLY serious! See. I am saying PLEASE really hard.” I remove him from the situation. He breaks down. Cries. Still alternating chest rubs with finger points. “Don’t you see I am saying pleeeeeeeaaase?! Is this not enough for you?!” his tear filled eyes say to me.
Sheesh. Toddler communication is tricky.
Kendall is 14 months and 10 days old