No, Thank YOU

Alternate Title – And Then My Children Came Down With an Overdeveloped Sense of Manners

I don’t get these kids at all.

We spent the last couple days of our vacation in that mode where Claudia was refusing to smile at any family members. This included scowling at her Great-Grandmother. It was fairly embarrassing.

At one point when I asked her to get dressed she threatened to “smash everything”. She also told me she would never hug me again, nor would she kiss me or smile at me or ask me to do anything for her.

(I told her that I was fine with that last one.)

In addition, Ian caught whatever Claudia had at the beginning of the week and he demanded butt medicine. Fortunately, I had some left over.

At some point it occurred to me that they were in such bad moods because they are only four and between me being gone for two weeks for BlogHer and then them going to the beach when we went to the wedding in Albuquerque and then this trip to Arkansas they were just completely out of their element. Kids need some sort of predictability and a schedule and we just haven’t been giving them that this summer.

During one of Claudia’s temper tantrums on Sunday the thing that finally calmed her down was me telling her that we would be home tomorrow and everything would go back to normal.

We got home this afternoon and they are different people. The girl has been completely charming. She has been dressing up in all of her princess gear and giving us fashion shows, She offered to let her brother choose the television show that they got to watch.

She thanked me for letting her brush her teeth.

But the crazy part came when we checked the mail. They got a thank you card in the mail from Mia’s birthday party.

They were beside themselves with joy.

I should explain that my children love all mail, but in this case (and I think it was because they were so happy to be home) they completely freaked out and demanded that we immediately send Mia a “You’re Welcome” note.

A you’re welcome note? From the children who have been known to sit at the table for an extra 45 minutes because they refused to utter the phrase “May I please be excused”?

I must be losing my mind.

Seriously, they ran and got paper and crayons and they took turns writing their names on the paper for Mia and then they dictated this letter:

Dear MIa,

You are welcome.


Ian and Claudia and Mom

I was going to explain that Mia calls me Sarah and not Mom, but I didn’t want to spoil the mood.

I think I am just going to chalk this up to my wonderful parenting (*snort*) but if these overzealous manners continue I might consult a doctor just to make sure that these children are actually The Goon Squad and not pod people.

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  1. Love it. On more than one occasion I’ve been tempted to write a thank-you note for an artfully composed thank-you note received. A you’re welcome note makes much more sense.

    And I see your 45 minutes awaiting a “May I Be Excused?” and raise you a “Look me in the eye when you’re talking.”

  2. I think that they are pod people. I’m pretty sure that Hunter is a pod person. I think that it’s an invasion. We really must call someone. MIB maybe????

  3. My children HATE my zealous love of thank you notes. The high from Christmas morning is quickly ruined when the thought occurs to them that they will have to write a note for every pair of socks and slacks they just threw back under the tree.

    I have been known to send out “You’re welcome” notes as well :)

  4. Soak it up while you can, for it will not last long, the Real Goon Squad will return shortly.

  5. Enjoy your blog – my b/g twins are four as well. :)

  6. Hahahahahahah, the Pod Squad. Max is also displaying an overly-developed sense of appropriate behavior at the moment too. Yesterday, he thanked me so profusely for buying him a new toothbrush, it was like I bought him a Saturn Vue or something. “THANK YOU, MAMA! THANK YOU FOR BUYING ME THIS TOOTHBRUSH!! I LOVE IT!!! THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!” WTF, kid?

  7. Oh man, Mia is going to be so excited. She’ll probably insist on sending another thank you note.

  8. So, did someone switch them while you were at BlogHer?

  9. Weird – My kids have been at this too. Every night they thank me for making dinner. WTF?? I make you dinner EVERY night! Outsiders would probably think I just didn’t feed them or something!

  10. You’d better have them checked. Two rude little brats just landed on my porch, and they are threatening to smash everything.

  11. It amazes how weird kids get when the schedule is thrown off.

    And just might have to send you a “thank you” card just to get one of those “you’re welcome cards”

  12. You just reminded me, I forgot to send the thankyou notes from the birth of Moo. Sixteen years ago…

    I think I need a holiday to bring back my manners.

  13. Oh, I love that coming home thing where everything is new again and the stuff that used to drive them batty becomes charming.

    If I ever get a “you’re welcome” card in the mail, I will squeal. That reminds me, I should really send out those thank you cards from my daughter’s June birthday.

  14. Just found your blog. I have two year old boy/girl twins – so I will have to follow your posts for clues about what I can expect. We’re still in the phase where “thank you” is a fun game – and I’m not looking forward to battles over manners…

    They have a three year old older brother whom I generally find to be more challenging than the twins combined – but stories from moms of older twins do tend to scare me…

  15. please please don’t let the “you’re welcome” card catch on. i have enough trouble with the thank you’s. 😉

  16. They’ll be back to normal soon enough. Just roll with it.

  17. She is so much like Gabriel in personality. Routine is necessary for them. Any little change just throws them off so badly. Glad things are balancing out again.

  18. What a good mom you are. I would have told them that no one sends you’re welcome cards and then there would have been a big fight and I’d want to sell them.

    Vacation threw my guys off in a big way too.

  19. Oh, I get that scowl thing OFTEN. It is such a joy when they share it with the older generations. Especially at family picture time….

  20. The Tyrant will sometimes bust out with a streak of kindness that has us checking her temperature. The Show and The Mother Hen usually take advantage of her so much that she goes back to being herself (the demanding, grouchy, control freak) in a day.

  21. A you’re welcome card?! Oh dear, I can hardly keep up with the thank you cards I’m supposed to write.

  22. As a creature of habit and a lover of all things routine, I can totally understand. And also, sometimes I think I act like a four-year old.

  23. Wait. You don’t really make your children sit at the table until they ask to be excused. Do you? That is so not a Crapper thing to do.

  24. Oh my. That’s hilarious. And this could be the beginning of a long snail mail chain that single-handedly saves the Post Office from closing its doors.

  25. cards are cool aren’t they…I’m feeling lonley for my African pen pal from the 70’s.

  26. Impressive manners! My kids are 10 and 12 and it’s like pulling teeth to get them to sit down and write Thank You notes.

    By the way, your daughter’s desire to ‘smash everything’? I feel like that at least five times a day.

  27. I think I need to find some “you’re welcome” cards myself. I’m always so tickled to get a thank you that I feel like sending a card in return. I guess I must be a pod person too.

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