Toisena pääsiäispäivänä kävimme perinteisesti kotieläinpihalla. Tällä kertaa päätimme suunnata Kirkkonummelle ja Rehndahlin tilalle. Siellä oli mm. vuohia, lampaita, kanoja & kukkoja ( mm. upeita jättiläiskanoja), pupuja, iso villainen sika, aaseja, falabelloja, laamoja, lehmiä ja hevosia. Tytöt pääsivät myös ratsastamaan talutettuina, mikä tuntuu nykyään olevan ihan mielipuuhaa. Tila oli selkeä eikä siellä ollut jonoja toisin kuin ymmärsin muun muassa Haltialassa olleen. Mutta ei siellä kyllä ollut niitä suloistakin suloisempia karitsojakaan. Suosittelen kuitenkin lämpimästi käymään!
I know I write about manners every now and then but they really are a favourite subject of mine. I´m not saying everyone should know the prefect etiquette for every situation imaginable but basic manners are very important to me. I would like to think that by teaching them to our children we give them a gift of confidence. They will know how to behave in different situations and therefore feel comfortable in them. I can not say that my kids are the best behaved children in the world but they do know how to say hello, thank you and good bye ( or I will politely remind them to). They are still quite small and both are a bit shy at first so shaking hands with strangers and looking someone in the eyes while doing it is a bit of a struggle and my aim is definitely not to make them feel uncomfortable but quite the opposite. So it is a learning process but I would like to think that teaching them these things and practising is far better than ignoring manners all together. ( And yes, sometimes Bubble Gum might loose it and start screaming at me on a bus stop and crying her eyes out for no other reason than hunger or if she´s tired but I know she is four and she will grow out of it, it´s normal child behaviour and does not mean she has bad manners nor do I judge other children doing the same thing.)
I´m all for learning by doing so when we sit in a tram for instance we go by the rules of public transportation one by one. Do not put you feet on the bench, do not talk loudly, try not to kick the person sitting in front of you, do not push and shove, do not eat or drink, make room for the elderly etc. The girls love trying to remember all the things they have learned. Sometimes we end up in funny situations like when I took the girls to a library a bit off our neighbourhood for a Harry Potter evening and on our way home we were squeezed in a pretty full tram. There was a man in about his forties who had a french bulldog sitting on the seat next to him and there were a lot of people standing. The girls wondered out loud ( like kids sometimes do) if a dog is allowed a seat before an older person with a cane. I could see it made the man think his decision ( of letting the dog take a seat in a full tram) through. We decided to think about it and talk about it at home as a lady would probably not want to make anyone feel uncomfortable. But yes we all came to the conclusion on our walk home from the tram stop that it was quite inconsiderate for the dog to take the seat.
But as fond as I am about learning in practise I like to also have some theory to back me up on my ” manners training” so I ordered a few new books. One for me to use with the girls and one for the girls and I to read together. The 365 manners kids should know has all kinds of ideas and activities or games for practising manners at home. A lot of good ideas but in my very honest opinion some of it was just a little pretentious. I think we can manage manners training without putting chairs in a row at home and practising taking a seat nicely in a movie theatre without bumping in to people. But then again if the girls were younger it might be fun for them and even more memorable. It has ideas from how to teach kids to sit up straight ( watch the news and observe the anchor for instance) to how to eat shish kebab ( slide your meat and veggies carefully off the skewer on to your plate and chop to bite size bits). It´s almost like manners for dummies but it does give some good standing points and in a way remind us that our children may not automatically learn all this or know all of it. The book is never the less a great source of ideas as to what you want your kids to learn so they are considerate, kind and well behaved little people.
The book I liked more was the one directed straight to the girls, A Little Book Of Manners ( they have one for little gentlemen too!). It´s fun to read together with the girls and has good pointers on basic manners. It is in English so most of the polite language skills do not imply in Finnish ( we don´t even have a word for please) but other than that it is quite universal. What caught my attention in both books were instructions on how to take telephone messages politely. I remember being taught that but now it seems fairly unnecessary as almost no one has a land line phone anymore. Do you remember the pretentious way Hyacinth Bucket used to answer her phone on the tv series Keeping up appearances? I loved loved loved that show!
Granted, Easter is mostly about chocolate eggs and other treats but Easter breakfast can be cute and good for you too. Especially if you love fruit and berries like we do. On Sunday morning the girls also got their baskets at the breakfast table and adored them.
Here are the little fruity things we had. The inspiration is valid all year round for some extra motivation to eat one´s daily 5.