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February 27, 2008


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Long-time reader, first-time poster...

My husband was our daughter's favorite for so long (>3 years) that when the tide started to turn in my favor and she began rejecting him, I asked him "See? Doesn't it hurt just a little? Now you know how I have felt all this time." Of course, 5 minutes later it was bedtime and ONLY MOMMY CAN BRUSH MY TEETH, WIPE MY BUTT AND PUT ME TO BED. That's when my husband turned and looked at me from his corner of the couch and said "Nope, doesn't bother me at all."

Now both kids fight over who gets to have Mommy carry them upstairs for bed. I'm waiting for the day when Daddy becomes numero uno again. (Maybe I should line his pockets with Starburst, unbeknownst to him?)

Oh, and take heart: someone all the way in the suburbs of Chicago is with you on the manners. One of my most proud moments of late was when I was in the grocery store with my daughter, who seems to always be in someone's way in this aisle or that. Anyway, as she nearly bumped into someone, she looked up (without prompting) and said to the woman "Oh, excuse me!"

Just trying to do my part.


a is for aardvark

damn. I thought i was going to be able to run around naked saying "I'm number one!" So close.

My husband is now the holder of that coveted prize. I was kind of taken aback at first. It's been a couple of months now, but I'm loving that he's getting a little of that back breaking flavor of love.

Peanut is amazing. Never sick? So very jealous.

I'm failing miserably at teaching my son manners. He is obsessed with keeping me at bay and locking me in the bathroom. I can't close enough to even try anymore.


Being polite has gone the way of the dodo. Instead of students asking to meet with me for help, they demand it. What happened to, "Can you help me with the sonnet form?" Now, I hear, "I'm coming in this afternoon for help." Uh, I'm not at your beck and call.
Anyway, kudos to you for teching Peanut the way of polite behavior.


I think it may be easier to teach good manners to little girls. I have a 3.5 year old boy whose idea of a great joke is pointing his heiny to my face and fart. Burps and other disgusting bodily functions are also source of awesome ways to drive mommy crazy. Boys are weird....and GROSS...

Paul Brown

Starburst? Dude - Michael Pollan would call that child abuse. Corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, and a full assortment of artificial colors.


I love using the phrase "the old country." Have you tried "the motherland"? Also handy.

Just this morning, I held the door out of the parking garage for this random woman, and while she did say "thank you," she didn't even touch the door, zooming straight past me to whatever was more important than where I needed to go. I was left holding the door for NOBODY. You're welcome, jerkface.


That's great about the hair. Was it on your head at the time or already on the nightstand?


People in Chicago still have manners. At least a lot more so than anywhere on the east coast ;-)
It was really kind of a shock when I moved here.


Wow, mad story about your Dad.

Starbursts after teeth brushing time? Ooo!

They used to be called Opal Fruits in Ireland when I was a kid.

Mama Nabi

1/4 of a Starburst? Man, Peanut is getting ripped off. LN won't do anything until she gets a full one. Too funny, LN's fav candy these days happens to be Starburst.
Strep is apparently going around here as well... great.
Yeah, my pet peeve is people barking their floor numbers at me - then not even saying "Thank you." I hate it more when they do that to me in front of LN. I usually do damage-control right away and remind LN that SHE is supposed to say "Thank you" and "Please". And watch them squirm in embarrassment. One of these days, someone's going to punch me.

Kim N

Have you read the children's book "Once Upon a Time, the End"? It sounds like something you would enjoy. I bought it because it reminded me of story time with my dad when I was a kid. My husband and I read it to our kids and laughed until we had tears running down our face and the kids looked at us like we had lost our minds. They did like the book too though. Check it out:


Enjoy your blog!


Nic epost.. as for the starburst I save it for the next morning.. you stay in bed and you get a star.. and with the star you can buy some candy! and when you have 3 stars you can buy a happy meal! Complicated I know but my 3 yr old has it down pat.. every time he needs something he stays in bed!

Stephen J.

How long did it take for you to become Peanut's favorite? Our son is a little over two and mommy is the center of his universe. This morning, he held the door open for me so I could leave for work and he could have mommy to himself. If it weren't so funny, I would cry!


hmm... I thought she was sick and sick toddlers were schizophrenic?? ah, I found it: http://metrodad.typepad.com/index/2007/11/sick-toddlers-a.html google reader rocks...

anyway, on the woman who said 'I got it', it could be a feminist thing, some women consider it insulting. I just respond, if there's a double door, by thanking the man and return the favor by opening the next door for him (I have a habit of holding doors open anyway unless I'm feeling antisocial or am in a particular hurry, seems rather than eschewing politeness it makes more sense to make it an equal opportunity gesture by doing it myself...)


I can't stop laughing. It's 7:59 p.m. and we both just RAN out of our kid's room, backing out, telling him to "go to sleep NOW. Playtime is over." Our reason? Idol starts in 1 min.


Love reading your stuff. You always have me quoting you and LOL. Wish you had more time to write!

JJ Daddy-O

Dude, you need to move down South here, where people are polite, before you wind up banging on the hoods of taxis yelling "Hey! I'm WALKIN here!"

Chris Austria

Nice post. I looked around your site and we have a lot similarities, except that I have five children. Like you, my children are tougher than I am.

I am up for a set and I am anxious to see how good your backhand is.


Poor Peanut! Hope she feels better soon.

And you crack me up, MD. But I just don't get the Idol fandom. What's up with that?


My first week in New York, I held the door open for a woman as I was entering a building. She stopped short and said, "I can do it myself."

So I slammed the door in her face and walked away. I became a New Yorker that day.

I'm totally #1 here and it certainly has its negatives and positives. But I'll take favored status over the alternative any day.

We make bedtime early enough so that I don't miss Idol. That's called strategy. Now, if you'll excuse me, I gotta go buy some Starburst.


Thats right, JJ Daddy-O !
Come on down to the south, y'all ! Gentlemen open doors, and ladies say "Thank you".
We are adamant about teaching the bear manners. Whenever she bumps into someone/something she says "oh, excuse me". Even if it's a toy, or the wall, or the cat. Too cute. We're working on Yes Ma'am, and Yes sir. Can't stand a child who speaks disrespectfully. Can't Stand It.


That's cool with how your daughter is quite the trooper. Sounds like a really cool kid.

I would be concerned about potential cavities from consuming Post-brushing Starbursts.


Ha! I can't believe that Kim N. beat me to it. I was going to recommend "Once Upon a Time, The End" by Kloske. Peanut may not think it is that funny because she is young. I read it to boys age 6 and 10, and they thought it was funny. I read it to a 5 year-old girl and she didn't laugh. Check it out.

I loved reading to my daughter at night. She is too old for that now, so enjoy it while you can. (I know I am sounding like your grandma.) It's wisdom!


Hey, MD! So glad to see a new post! I hope the Peanut is feeling 100% asap. And I understand the MFP status except I seem to get bath/bedtime duty no matter what (thanks to BikeBoy). And, now that Munchkin is 5.5, if she's not in bed by 8:00 on AI nights then she stays up until AI is over!

And, what did happen w/manners?? I hate when someone won't at least say "thanks" when I hold a door for them...or when employees at a store totally ignore me while I'm checking out--you know...keep talking amongst each other like I'm not there--until they tell me the amount I owe! Grrrr.

BTW, Tootsie Rolls are what we use as piano practice bribes...maybe we'll try Starbursts when we run out of our supply!

Aimee Cantrell

I'm so sorry to hear the Peanut has been sick. I hope she feels well soon!

I completely concur about manners and am trying to teach my daughters who to be ladies. I cringe when I hear of women saying "I got it myself." I'm always grateful there are gentlement out there still willing to open or hold a door and always reply with "Thank You."


Maybe my girls will be as irritated with society and the lack of manners as I am when they are adults. I can only hope, right?


Dude, your readers are awesome. I totally forgot what I was going to comment but now I'm just obsessed with getting "Once upon a time, the end" book that Kim N posted about.


Finally posting after reading your blog for some time.You are really funny specially about the candy stuff.I was laughing out loud.Thanks for making my day.


I guess it doesn't matter if we are Dads in NY or Mums in Australia, toddlers are the same world over.

I have stressed manners with my 3yr old Mousette, and her current polite phrase is "you're welcome your Highness" - thanks Barbie....she is also wonderful with her pleases and thankyous, which she uses at the drop of a hat to everyone, including our dogs!

As to rushing through bedtime - well - So You Think You Can Dance takes priority one night a week, can totally relate lol.

Love your blog, have become addicted, found it thanks to Karen Cheng, awesome Aussie Mum blogger :)

Papa Bradstein

Dude, for AI: TiVO. Seriously, it's what keeps families together at bedtime. Then again, when will you have time to maintain your beautiful coif?

Also, yes, at 19 months, 3B already knows that the proper response is "Thank you." He even says it when handing us something back that he is done with, which even we don't do. He just figured it out on his own. Screw Miss Manners, 3B is my etiquette role model. And since we know he learned everything he knows about being a kid from reading about the Peanut on your blog, that means that the Peanut is too.

But seriously, nice work on teaching her manners.


I think we need some kind of international, door holding, public announcement scheme?! People seem far too confused about the etiquette-myself included!
What bothers me is when I hold a door open for someone in a high-traffic area, just doing my part to ensure that the door doesn't slam back in the face of the person behind me. But the next thing I know, said person just breezes past me, as does the next person, and suddenly, I am left standing there like Jeeves the Butler, as a long line of people waltz through the door without a care. What are you doing, people? You say thankyou, as you take the door, propping it open for the next person, who then thanks that person as they take the door, and so on.
On the other hand, I must say it bothers me when people hold the door for me from an overly long way away. Unless I am holding something that would make it otherwise difficult for me to hold the door, I would prefer the person to just let the door close, than for them to stop and wait, and for me to have to break into an awkward little run to the door to relieve the person of their door-propping duties. But then, I must put myself in the head of the door holder...who are probably feeling just as awkward about having left me to break into my little disabled-duck-run, however, judged that I might have been *just* close enough, that it would be seen as the height of rudeness to just let it close on me.

A quandry, really.

As for sneezing in an elevator...sorry, but I'm on the 'ew!' side. While there is something to be said for politeness, I am firm of the belief that under no circumstances, should bodily fluids ever be released whilst in an elevator. Under no circumstances. I may not say as much, but you can bet your bottom dollar that I am thinking it.


I think good manners from our kids is an indication that you, as a parent, are doing something right. Glad to hear there are other parents out there who emphasize it. It seems like a dying practice.


Sooooooo jealous about the never getting sick part. Lately, all my kids seem to know how to do is catch a cold and cough.

And you're right about the politeness thing. It's not that easy to teach a toddler (at least my two) but at least they've learned that I ignore their interruptions unless they say, "Excuse Me".


Welcome back, MD. I've missed you! Wish you had time to post every day.

Mrs. Mom

The nice thing about living in the South is that, when it comes to manners, the whole community really enforces the point. People have no problem down here with berating another person's child for being rude. We don't call it interference. We just call it the right thing to do.


I can relate to this post and to some of the comments, especially the first comment. I am just waiting for the time when A-chan turns to her daddy as her favorite. In her 3.25 years, it still hasn't happened. I could use a break.

I also definitely relate to the abbreviated stories. I used to be a sucker every single day, since I'm a SAHM, and read the books from cover to cover. Now I just make up shit and say "the end!" in about 30 seconds. A-chan is happy still, and since toddlers have such a short attention span, she's through with her books in a much shorter time. *evil laugh*

A-chan still has not been sick. I am not looking forward to that day. She was quite the trooper about everything, but somewhere around 2, that went by the wayside. Now, she will cry a bucket of tears over a tiny scrape that she didn't notice previously.

Big J Man

Hey MetroDad -- there's actually a book called "Once Upon a Time...The End." You should totally pick up a copy. The closer you get to the end of the book, the shorter the stories, until they're just a few lines long. Good stuff. :)


Another difference between girls and boys: most of the girls I know do the "switch" between mom and dad controlling who's number one! Most boys, including my own; it's all about MOM, all. the. time. My son is five and a half and it's never been dad, always me....! Never him. Always me.

My son has great manners, but let me forewarn you parents with your 'under four year olds'... yes, there will come a time in their pre-school/ kindergarten days where they will attempt (yes they will) to elliminate the manners! No matter how instilled. You will experience those obviously manner-needed scenarios where you fully expect the manners of your child to shine through and the moment passes! The manners, unused.
It's one of their Jedi mind tricks. I can only tell you that there is a way out... but you must discover it on your own. This is your road to travel.

And regarding sneezes, I'd bless you on an elevator! I'll bless you if you're five isles away at the grocery store. My son, he would bless you too!


Yes, and a second on the TiVo/DVR recommendation. Watch something when you want. Fast forward commercials to get through your shows faster!

Jamie E.

Our son just made the switch to Daddy being his #1 for the first time. Finally. It only took 3 years. Daddy was starting to get a little upset. Now let's see how Daddy handles being the full-time chef, bather, nurse, entertainer, bedkeeper, and storyteller.

#1 ain't always all it's cracked up to be.


Lack of manners - it's not everywhere, it's the East Coast! We recently moved from Chicago to Boston and man, is everyone RUDE. It is my mission to teach my 3.5 year old that when we pass people on the street, we look them in the eye, and say hello. Perhaps even say get nutty and say, "Hey, how are you?" At my daughter's preschool, the only kids who say please and thank you are mine and the kid whose mom is from Texas. Pathetic.


This is in reply to Magpie. It is NOT always the East Coast that lacks manners. We used to live in a little town in Colorado called Westminster (between Denver and Boulder), and many times (more than I can count on my fingers) my husband's friendly "hellos" were completely ignored by the people we would pass on our neighborhood walks.
I would ask my hubby why he was so persistent in greeting them despite their in-your-face rudeness, but he would just shrug and reply that their being obnoxious would not stop him from being courteous and polite. Bless his heart.
As a side note, I'm not sure whether they lacked basic manners or if they were being racist. Seeing how Hubby and I are Asian and the people we would pass were Caucasian. We did feel like we stood out like sore thumbs when we first moved to CO. That's how non-diverse that State is... Thank goodness we're back in Cali!


Hey! There are some New Yorkers (me!!!) who are polite, appreciates it when a guy opens the door for her, says excuse me, thank you, you're welcome and bless you when appropriate, and always stands aside so that people can get off the subway before she gets on. But then again, I'm also the kind of New Yorker who will stop to give directions to tourists who look lost and talk to strangers on the subway. I should definitely stop doing the talking-to-strangers-on-the-subway thing... We might not stand out but we do exist...


Are you available for hire? I have three unruly sons who are in some desperate need of learning some manners. I'd do it myself but I'm exhausted. All. the.time! I tell you. These boys will be the death of me.


I cannot stand it when people don't thank me for holding the door open! They just walk right through. Most times I just say "you're welcome". About half the time, I get a "huh? oh, thank you". Weak! weak, weak!


Your's is the first blog I've read. No time and no interest in reading one before. I've become totally hooked and spent the last few days catching up. Some really funny stuff. Anyway, I can totally relate to most of what you've experienced not just with parenthood but with life. I am trying to teach my three manners but it's hard when they see their peers getting away with the most atrocious behavior. I find the lack of manners directly related to the sense of entitlement most kids feel these days. I live in a NYC suburb and the lack of common courtesy that I see on an everyday basis makes me sick! People have no regard for others and only care about numero uno! I think it's time people spoke up and said something. Being an asian woman I am not one to speak out but there are times when I've reached breaking point and something had to be said!!! When you do say something most people think YOU are being rude! Looking forward to your next entry.


I've been the favorite for Five and a Half years. I tried the thirty-second bedtime and spent half an hour feeling guilty, so now I spend half an hour with stories, water, backrub, prayers, hugs, kisses, more water, more hugs, the begging of me to stay, the dozenth 'I Love You' and then spend the next few minutes worn right out. Why is bed-time the most Exhausting time of the day? lol!

Your Dad sounds Fabulous, btw!


och, old man pls dont give her candy at bedtime?

apart from that, i absolutely love your posts. u certainly have a flair for writing!
have fun being number one!

Her Bad Mother

She'd NEVER been sick? I was sucking mucus out of WB's nose when she was three months old. Which, you know, I was happy to do, but still. I could have done with a three year reprieve.


Why in the world are you not on my blogroll? Who made that mistake? I shall fire them immediately and rectify the problem without further delay. LOL


Whit's comment cracked me up.

Bean is tough like Peanut. Sounds like they both got the genes of their tough ass Korean grandfathers. Bean walks around with a fever of 102 and barely stops moving. The only way I know is if I happen to brush up against her head while she's running past me. Buddy, on the other hand... whimper, whimper at 99 degrees. Deathbed time.

The abridged version is excellent. I like hearing G tell the kids they only have time for a 'koongdengi' bath (he loves this word). Then hoses them down in three minutes flat. (I think this is similar to your diaper wipe bath.)

That Peanut is one smart, tough, adorable, polite, and SLICK kid!

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