I am having a happy dance moment right now!
My son finally got it! He has it mastered!
I told him to watch out for cars (riding his bicycle around the neighborhood) and he breezily, but politely, said, "Yes ma'am."
It has taken 10 years of excruciating parenting to get him to say those two words as a instinctual response. I hear him say "Yes, sir" to his dad all the time now; but today it happened to me!
So maybe people who live in the South might think, what's the big deal? But to our relaxed, casual Western way of living, hearing my husband's coworker say, "Yes, ma'am" in answer to anything was a thrill. Such politeness! Such respect! (Such a nice drawl!) And I guess that is what it really comes down to. The Farmer and I want our kids to show respect for us, and other adults. And this is just one of our little ways of teaching it.