How Do I Teach Munching Manners to Cool Baby?

carbonara

Have you been celebrating National Etiquette Week as feverishly as we have? All week long, we’ve kept our elbows off the table and our feet out of the refrigerator. We’ve coughed into the crooks of our arms. I’ve helped little old ladies cross streets. And I’d help them back across if they were going the other way to begin with.

But despite the week’s festivities, our kids still struggle with the notion of etiquette. Cool Baby has been known to explore his nostrils, camcorder notwithstanding. And sometimes, Cool Newbie will just sit there and go poo-poo in his pants! With company over!

Seriously, this week I’ve tried to guide Cool Baby into chewing with his mouth closed. I love how food tastes, but I’m not such a fan of how it sounds, with the crunching and the wet smacking. With Cool Mum’s guidance, I’ve tried to not nag CB about it, lest my efforts backfire. So I’ve offered gentle reminders like, “Remember, we chew with our mouths closed.” CB would respond by closing his mouth and chewing with a smile. I look away, the smacking would return. I look up, mouth shut and a giggle. My earnest attempt to teach etiquette has turned into a game.

For now, I’m going to leave well enough alone and trust him to follow our example. Like I’ve said, he wants to be just like me. Hopefully, he’ll follow the righteous path and chomp with lips together. If not, a potential job as a Food Network host could seriously be in question. I can see it now:

SERVER: And the spaghetti carbonara.
COOL BABY (grown up): And here we have the delectable signature dish at La Carbonara. The cream, the pearl onions, the hand-cranked pasta. This is what I’m talking about.
(twirls pasta)
(takes a bite)
(chews)
(fellow diners evacuate)

Oh well, cross one more career off CB’s list.

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