As parents, we all strive to teach our children manners and how to be respectful, courteous and kind to everyone they meet. It's what good parents do to raise good kids.
Hobson Brown of Austin, Texas recently told me that it's his mission in life to teach his boys, 5-year-old Hugh and 2-year-old Hayward manners. He was so confident about his efforts with his boys that he and his wife decided to have a dinner party where his boys hosted their little friends for dinner, sitting around their very own "adult table." Everything was going well, really well in fact, until Hayward, the 2-year-old, decided right there and then to poop on the floor (he was potty training, after all) upon which his close friend Margaret, not looking down, slipped and fell right smack into it.
"Margaret freaked out because she had poop all over her, and she didn't have a change of clothes," according to Brown. "The last thing that she wanted to do was wear my boy's clothes. So she went home. Hayward messed up his manners lesson. He really messed it up -- literally."
Hobson is the co-founder of Criquet, a retro shirt company based in Austin, that has a wonderful gentlemanly 19th hole clubbiness vibe which it brings to its cotton polo shirts and sweaters. Criquet harkens back to the golden age of golf back in the 1950s and 1960s when The Golden Bear Jack Nicklaus and The King Arnold Palmer owned the PGA tour between them.
One of the main reasons Hobson started Criquet, he says, "was to re-establish the lost art of gentlemanliness by dressing men better." Hobson tells his boys that to be gentlemen, they must know "how to hold the door for classmates, to take your hat off whenever you are inside, to always write thank you notes, to say hello when greeted and say goodbye when leaving, and be just nice and helpful overall."
So what do you do, then, when you're a Papa whose son poos on the floor and his friend falls in it? "Being a gentleman is always a work in progress," Hobson says, "especially when your two."
Touche to the Terrible Twos.