Posted 16 December 2003 - 03:28 PM
One of my brothers has a very special relationship with his sons. I recall him telling me years ago when his oldest was two, he could go to a movie, put the tot in his lap and he was so content to sit with daddy, he'd just eat his little popcorn and be perfectly happy and not make a peep. There are some rare exceptions to these things.
Here's an even more interesting one. One of my sisters was getting sworn in as a criminal judge in a very somber ceremony in a courtroom with 15 different speakers that day, one of them being the former governor. A very serious event indeed. My sister-in-law came in shortly after it started, carrying her 10-month-old daughter. A few eyebrows were raised as the two sat down next to me. For the next two hours, the mother held her daughter in her lap, facing her, and periodically did sign language to her -- just small things, like "good girl." The child could actually sign back a bit. The baby did not make one sound, just beamed and smiled at everyone until all those sitting in back of her had fallen completely in love with her. I admit, I had my doubts at first, but I was pretty amazed at this new use of sign language for someone not hearing impaired.
It's never too early to teach our children how to behave appropriately, I guess. The more communication you have with them early on, with regard to what you expect, the better you'll fare.
I'm not sure this problem always has much to do with age -- there are adults who cough uncontrollably, stink, wear big hair or big hats, eat, laugh, converse, and generally make nuisances of themselves, at least as much as wee ones. (In case you can't tell, I'm an ardent lover of children.)