I have always been a sucker for little boys with good manners. Ones who say their pleases and thank yous. Nadi picked up his please fairly early, saying it cutely and sincerely which obviously meant that the person infront of him could not resist giving him exactly what he wanted. He learnt very quickly that it was only in his best interests that this word be used well and often. However, the Thank you has taken a little while longer. It seems to me that he has the concept down but isn’t quite sure why he needs to say something when what he wants has clearly been handed to him. Then to try to illustrate the point we started substituting the word for gestures. Everytime he got what he wanted we would ohh shake hands for that or hug khala for this or kiss mama, trying to show him that getting what you wanted from someone deserved something in return.
So the other day, he comes to me, asking for a meem (read mint), and I say, “Ok, whats the magic word?” He cocks his head to one side and says “”peez”. So I hand him one and look at him expectantly. He gives me a smile and is about to be off on his way when I say, “Nadi what do you say now?” He pauses for a moment. “Peez?” he ventures a guess, clutching onto the mint, in case the word he is using is wrong. I shake my head. Suddenly his face lights up and the little imp says something he knows will not only suffice as the answer but also get him out of this pickle, earning him a tight hug, “Mama? Oveyou!”