Sunday, October 18, 2009

Raising a Southern Belle

I am a southern girl. No complaints. No excuses. If you listen to me talk, there's no doubt that I was born and bred in the South.

My mother was raised in the Deep South -- south Alabama -- and comes from a long lineage of southern belles! Now, I do not mean "high society" southern belles. I'm referring to a heritage of good manners, proper etiquette, and hospitality.



We were always taught to be courteous and polite -- have nice telephone manners, proper table etiquette, and a hospitable spirit. From the cradle, we knew how to set a table, place our napkins in our laps, ask to be excused before leaving the table, and, of course, address adults as mam or sir.

With Eveley, I am trying to teach her the importance of having good manners. I allow her to set the table and show her where each utensil should go. I am reminding her to say "Yes sir" or "Yes mam" and please and thank you.

But I don't think I was prepared for the instruction that would be necessary on this one important issue...

the bathroom

As a new mom, no one told me that I should then begin thinking about what we would call "it".

Using "proper" terms was something my mother always had an opinion about.

We were not supposed to say stink. Instead, it simply smells bad.
We should not say puke or barf or snot or boogers. Rather, the correct term was germs.

We still laugh about this.

And while we had some rather peculiar terms for bodily functions, we never said pee or pp. It sounded much more ladylike to say tinkle or tt. (Not sure why a t is more dignified than a p. But it must be written in the Southern Belle Handbook somewhere.)

Well, I was not prepared to call "it" anything in particular. I didn't even realize that we were at that stage yet. Until one Sunday afternoon.

Our church had a potluck dinner after the morning service. We were all gathered around the tables preparing to say a blessing when beautiful Miss Eveley - in her Sunday dress and bouncy curls - sauntered in front of the group and grabbed my leg.

"Mama," she said loudly. "I have a DOO DOO!"

A what??

She repeated it. Louder.

Land's sake! A doo doo? That was not one of the terms being considered. And you had to hear how she said it. She emphasized the words very dramatically, taking several seconds to say each one.

I took her into the bathroom. "It is not a doo doo, Eveley," I told her. "It is a ... a... it is a ... stinker."

There. That sounded better.

"No, mama. There is a doo doo in there," she insisted.

Oh boy. Well, we are still trying to figure out what to call "it". There are some really heinous possibilities. (And because my southern belle mother reads this blog, I am not allowed to repeat them.) But I'll let you know when we settle on something dignified.

7 comments:

Carrianna said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

In the words of Ross Perot, "That is HIIIIILARIOUS"! Dad - I am very interested to know what that "comment deleted" was. Must have been really good or bad.

Ben and April said...

This post had me rolling!! Very funny and oh so true! The things mothers are privileged to endure!!

QuEEn oF tHe cAstLe said...

LoL :)

RJW said...

LOL, loved the post. :)

Godfreyhouse said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Godfreyhouse said...

Our 5th child came to our home at the age 5+. He already his own terms. Of course being a boy, his term is practical. Yet, I have never heard anyone call "it" what he says. Todd says, "Mom I have to go "sit down".