Herald Journal Columns
April 15, 2002

Teaching little brother manners


My daughter was busy last week trying to teach her little brother manners (he's six, and she's 10).

It was tedious, hard work, but she tried anyway. The lesson took place in the computer room, with some chairs arranged to simulate a classroom.

He was parked into one of the chairs. She was standing at the front of the classroom, as teacher, of course.

It was quite hilarious, since he would raise his hand vigorously saying "ME ME ME ME!" and she would call on all these other imaginary students.

Bryce was ready to faint from his exertions, when she would finally call his name.

She would quiz him about the proper responses under certain social conditions.

He's been making body noises that precipitated the lesson, and to make sure he wouldn't forget, she posted it on the wall in his bedroom.

Several noted responses: "Excuse me," "Pardon me," "Please," and the no fail "Thank you."

The success hasn't been calculated yet.

My very best tip

Martha Stewart is on the other end of the spectrum for me, but I've got a household tip that might even rival the old girl.

The season of skinned knees is upon us, and for anyone with kids, this tip might actually come in handy.

Here it is (and it really works): How to take blood out of carpet:

Simply take a bottle of hydrogen peroxide and dribble a little of the contents onto the blood-stained article.

The peroxide will bubble up and actually cause the blood to rise to the surface. Dab it clean with a tissue.

Of course, the day after my friend told me this tip, my daughter managed to stub her toe and then walked all over her brother's white carpeting.

I remembered the tip and had nothing to lose. So, I tried it ­ lo and behold (or "I'll be cow kicked" as a friend used to say), it worked.

I don't know if it works on anything else, although I think it most likely would.

However, be warned that it is untested in this respect (use it carefully ).

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