There was this strange little person with me on Wednesday. She had impeccable manners. She offered her brother some water in such a loving voice, gave him comforting words when he complained about being hungry and thirsty, and said lots of thank you’s and excuse me’s.
I commented on how polite she was being and she said, “You told me to.”
Is that all it takes? Why didn’t you tell me earlier?
Mae was referring to a conversation we’d had when I picked her up that day from aftercare. When I arrived, the Director was helping resolve a dispute between her and another little girl, R, about R having picked up Mae’s book without permission. R apologized, and Mae accepted the apology (after I prompted her three times) by saying coldly, “I accept, but don’t do it again.” (I would not have insisted had R not been looking at Mae expectantly). R and Mae walked away, Mae to retrieve their backpack. Within seconds, R was back at me. She tattled, “She was laughing at me. She said, ‘Haha, you forgot your jacket.'” Mae tried to hide a grin and denied saying it. Sigh.
Once we were outside, Mae admitted that she had teased R and didn’t want to get in trouble for it. I told her to treat others as she wants to be treated and to be polite. So, for the rest of the evening, Mae was super nice. And, Jay followed her lead, returning the kindnesses. They had their own little lovefest. I gushed and praised and added mickeys to their banks. At one point, Mae was telling me her ideas for how we could donate more toys and food to those in need. Oh, if I could only have frozen her in that state. And, her brother too, for that matter. He has a new “best friend” at school, someone he describes as a new kid who is always being put on the yellow chair. The yellow chair is where kids are sent to think after they have made a sad choice. I hope Jay rubs off on him before he rubs off on Jay.