Wednesday, February 20, 2013

So, I Was Talking to the Cat...

I think I'm becoming my mother. Not that that is necessarily a bad thing; my mom has many good qualities. But I was shocked to make this realization after a conversation this morning--with the cat.

Back story: when my dad was in school, he hung around some kids whose English grammar wasn't very good, and he picked up some of their bad habits that stayed with him long after he was done with school. My mom, on the other hand, should have been an English teacher. She is a stickler for good grammar and good vocabulary. My dad's frequent errors drove her crazy, and for a while, she tried to correct him, but he didn't appreciate that very much. So, she backed off. However, when I was a kid, my mom used to correct my grammar and vocabulary, especially in front of my dad, hoping he would get the hints.

I find that I correct the kiddo's English, too, but that's not where I'm going with this.

This morning, I found myself lecturing the cat on good manners in front of the kiddo. He was getting in my way and meowing for his breakfast. (A good translation might be: "Bleep it! Could you bleeping give me my food, you bleeping human? I'm bleeping starving here!") I told him that I didn't like his tone and that he could speak to me in a nicer way, since I'm the one feeding him. This is really similar to an admonishment I use often with the kiddo: "I don't like your tone. If you want me to do something for you, you need to ask me in a nice way. When you give me attitude and speak to me like that, I don't want to do anything for you".

This technique works on the kiddo. The cat, not so much.

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