I like my children to be polite, to say please and thank you.
It’s good manners.
My three kids have caught on and when they forget to end their request for something, I often chip in to remind them. “What’s the magic word?”
That triggers their recall.
Well, most of the time.
At breakfast the other day with the three children, my youngest daughter asked for a glass of water. I looked at her and let out my now timeworn question: “What’s the magic word?”
The five-year-old stared at me blankly. You could see her searching her brain for that word, that special word reserved for such occasions, that super-duper-get-what-you-wish word.
“So?” I asked.
Her eyes widened and her body bubbled with excitement, and out she blurted the magic word: “Fuck.”
Her older sister busted up in laughter, her brother choked on his water and I almost fell off my chair laughing.
The youngest girl’s face dropped and she stammered out, “No, wait… It’s please!”
We continued to laugh. All of us except the youngest, who wasn’t having anything to do with our gaiety. She looked at me glumly and pushed her glass toward me and said, “Well? What about my water? … PLEASE!”