A Child’s Chivalry


“Ladies first” has been a phrase we have used determine to which of our boy/girl twins gets to do things first for quite a while. For instance, when I’ve been doing their hair and brushing their teeth in the morning, “Ladies first.” Or when I give them a snack, “Ladies first.”

Colton, my son, has always been a true gentlemen. Often telling me not to get him out of the car first, but rather to get Chloe out as he says, “Ladies first.” I always oblige his demands and brag about my good mannered little gentleman.

However, as time has progressed, and they get closer to reaching the ripe old age of three, they have added more words to their repertoire and have more advanced thought processes, including questioning this “Ladies first” policy. Therefore, to be fair, I have started taking turns in who gets to do things “first” and hadn’t heard the phrase “Ladies first” in many months… until last night.

Along with more advanced thought processes and growing vocabulary in their “late age”, has come increased expression of free will. I have been forced to impose more discipline in the form of more time outs.

Many times, fights will break out between the two when I am not in the same room, but I can hear the shouting downstairs. When I race down, I have to quickly deduce who is the culprit and needs to be disciplined. What I usually say is, “Guys, who needs a time out?” That honesty reigned for a while, and they would tell me. More recently, they would point the finger at each other, making it impossible for me to figure out what happened.

Finally, last night as the end of bath time neared, I was folding laundry when I heard my husband ask who wanted out first. Apparently, neither wanted out.  My son said, “Chloe, ladies first.” To which she replied, “No! Not ladies first. Ladies first not ready! Gentleman first!”

The end of chivalry has come.

(photo courtesy of David Hughes)