Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Raising a Prince

So, Noah is going through this teething, motor milestone, language milestone developmental trifecta that is leaving me with a lot more time than I might like to contemplate all manner of things between midnight and 4 am. On night 2 ish my thoughts turned to the fact that Kate Middleton will likely never find herself patting the heiny of a cantankerous baby in the wee hours of the morning, night after night. Whether this is a good or bad thing can be debated by mothers better than I, at the moment, I have to confess to nothing but envy. Kate, of course, is Prince William's very soon to be wife and current co-habitator (gasp!). In addition to envying her future filled with night nurses, happy to competently pick up the slack when Kate has reached the point which every mother finds herself- at a complete loss as to anything else that she might offer said baby and longing for nothing more than an hour of quality time with a horizontal surface. I also began to wonder just what it was that made Will such a catch. Of course, there is a undeniable cachet to fact that he is a Prince, a real one, with castles and stamps and a crown hanging about. But, I think it's more than that.

After all, beyond the royal lineage, which, when you consider it, isn't exactly full of the absolute most upstanding characters, you have things that are somewhat easier to come by. Will has family money, good looks (although he is going to have to come up with a better strategy for his remaining hair), an athletic build, and at least a modicum of intelligence although I have gotten the impression he isn't quite setting the world afire in that regard, and (according to Piers Morgan) impeccable manners.

I want my boys to have as many opportunities to have rich and fulfilling lives as possible. So, I'll make the presumption that they will someday be interested in dating and, perhaps, marrying someone (male or female isn't really a paramount concern). On night 3-ish of patting the fussy, fussy, baby, I started wondering what I could learn from the wonder which is Prince William's allure. While I can't do much about family money, their looks, interest in athletics or intelligence I can raise some well mannered boys. After all, as I started contemplating the manners thing, I began remembering how much I liked boys from Texas and it's near neighbors when I was in college. While the boys differed radically in many regards, they all had courtly manners and I think that was what pushed them into such desirability. Even if I didn't want to date them, I wanted to hang around them. I didn't so much care about the specific manners, I think it really came down to the idea that my comfort mattered more than theirs. So, it wasn't that the door was opened, a chair pulled out, someone stood until I was seated, it was that feeling that I mattered. It was also just so easy to be around them and interact through those awkward first bits of meeting. Small talk is a skill and if you have some social rules to fall back on and practice implementing them, it makes all the difference. Hell, just navigating coat removal, perusing the menu and parsing out the dinner rolls could carry you through the first 15 minutes of a date and somehow, everything seems a little better once you have a dinner roll.

And, so, I have decided that come what may, I am somehow going to impart some lovely manners on my boys. How that will be done, I have no idea. I suspect the first step will be getting Charlie to stop picking his nose or at least to stop eating it...

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