A baby is a clean slate. I am determined to engrave good manners on Aaron’s slate; both the Chinese and Western variety. THIS, I have expectations...not hopes. The list is long but here are the few that come to mind based on what my own parents use to nag about.
1) Always greet people when you meet them. Address them by their titles if they are relatives, ‘Aunty or Uncle’ if they are Asian and ‘Mr/Mrs/Ms So-and-so’ if they are Caucasian.
2) Look at the person speaking.
3) If you need to interrupt, do so politely by saying ‘Excuse me’.
4) When leaving, say ‘Goodbye’ or something else appropriate.
5) Invite your elders to start the meal. This is a Chinese thing where each person older than you is invited to ‘Eat’ but I don’t really think I’ll enforce naming each and every person on the table. Maybe just to the eldest one or two people around. Usually it’s the mother and father.
6) Let all your elders start the meal before you.
7) For Chinese meals where the dishes are shared, don’t pick around for your favorite pieces. And don’t take the last piece without asking first.
8) No talking with your mouth full or stuffing your mouth so full you can’t chew with it closed.
9) No reading, iPods or other gadgets during meal times.
10) Wait until everyone has finished the meal before leaving the table. Obviously helping with the dishes is a must even in other people’s homes.
WOW! This is turning out to be a long list. Don’t want the post to get too long so I’ll have to make this Part I. Stay tuned!