Monday, September 26, 2011



I was out to breakfast with my husband and third grade daughter recently. We had only just sat down when my daughter gleefully pointed out that Dad had his elbow on the table. “Too bad we don’t have those Golly Gee-pers! Table Manners cards,” he replied. Then I remembered. I did have a deck in my purse. I promptly pulled them out and delivered the elbows thumbs-down card to Dad. Well, before the waitress had returned with the coffee there were three people and a doll sitting up straight with their napkins in their laps eying each other suspiciously.

I’ll admit I got caught talking with food in my mouth, my daughter couldn’t keep her hands out of the cocoa (after all there were marshmallows to retrieve) and despite his efforts my husband never did get rid of that elbow card. “Not bad” I thought, after all we were in a diner not a four star restaurant.

It was then that my daughter decided she needed some motherly love and proceeded to make her way under the table and over to me. I found myself scurrying to gather up the cards and started to make a comment to the effect that “after all your good manners you’re going to ruin it by doing that?”
Then, I stopped. It occurred to me that if my child had just recited her times tables and got a few wrong I wouldn’t consider it a total math failure. After all, I wouldn’t want to discourage her. “Well, of course,” you might say. “That’s a no-brainer.” And yet, I suspect we as parents tend to lump good behavior or good manners into one big category? But, isn’t that kind of a moving target? Why bother then? It’s too hard to be perfect.

Table manners like math is plural. It consists of a group of skills. Therefore, it’s vital to stay focused on the child mastering each individual skill rather than doing everything right. So, the next time your child gets one, two or three thumbs-up cards but not the Read-To-Dine-Out card, it’s okay. He has mastered some of the skills and with encouragement the others are likely to follow.

Friday, September 23, 2011


Come on, we all have some kind of story.  It could have been you, your child, someone in your family or a complete stranger. I've put mine on facebook and twitter and would love to have your's too or e-mail your's to   Best stories will win a set of Golly Gee-pers Table Manners Cards. 

Ok, here's one I heard about:  You know how your mother always told you not to point?  Well, this guy apparently didn't take that advise to heart.  Many years ago my uncle was making a sales call to some big wig in a sky rise.  The guy was showing off his beautiful 180 degree window views.  "Over here you can see such and such.... and over there... " That's when this guy turned around pointing and put his finger right up my uncles's nose!  Just a minor faux pas.

Sunday, September 18, 2011


Lamorinda Weekly - September 14, 2011


Golly Gee-pers! Table Manners Cards win two awards from one of the world's leading experts on play, toys and children's products, Stevanne Auerbach, PhD, also know as Dr. Toy (   Our Table Manners Card games were awarded one of the 10 Best Socially Responsible Products for Children as well as the 100 Best New Children's Product 2011.

    "...a unique game that enables children to learn from the fun of playing," was only one of the criteria for winning the Dr. Toy Award.  Others included, safety, durability, diversity, price and uniqueness and value.

Cards can be purchased on our website at

Another Bay Area winner was Tiny Green Bee's Crunch a Color game.  A game that encourages children to choose nutritious foods and donates a portion of their proceeds to Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution and Alice Water's Edible School Yard.


My debut Golly Gee-pers! blog with a perspective on and in defense of a giddy person (me).

For anyone who knows me, has spoken with me or observed me from a distance they will know that I can bubble up enthusiasm for any perceived achievement the way a child bubbles up soda with a straw.  If you don't listen closely you may think I have just won the lotto instead of succeeded at setting up a twitter account.  The same goes for my personal life.  I'll  go on and on about my incredibly amazing wonderful kids.  You'd think they were genetically engineered for perfection until you realized the great achievement in question was taking their personal belongings out of the car.  I've even been known to drive friends into a jealous frenzy over my husband when I was only referring to his annual one sock pick up.  Meanwhile I'm sure they went home and gave their spouses the what for.  Sorry guys.  It took me a while to realize this misunderstanding.  One of my sister's pointed it out.  "I always feel like my life is dog doo when I talk to you," she admitted one day.  I was taken aback because I admire her greatly.  She's a beloved mother, an amazing artist, a successful business owner and exudes love and compassion.  "Everything always seems to go right for you," she explained.  At that point I realized the error.  It's not that everything goes right for me.  It's just that I' so delighted when the smallest thing does.  So, if I ever sound as if the world is my oyster and my life is just a little too happy, know that someone else besides me probably plunged the clogged toilet that morning.

Having said that, I owe a tremendous thank you to friends, family, acquaintances and total strangers who for two years politely listened to me bubble on and on and on about Golly Gee-pers! Table Manners Cards.  No, they won't solve world hunger or win a Pulitzer prize for promoting good table manners, but they did win a Dr. Toy award and for that I am so honored and just tickled to death.  "Can you believe it?  Me?  My cards?  Somebody who is somebody likes them?"  I feel like Sally Fields at the Academy Awards.  My kids are equally excited and in truth they are the ones who deserve the credit.  They inspired the game, demanded excellence and tested me every step of the way.  With that kind of help how could I not be successful?  Besides, they have promised to keep it up!