Inane Banter

Childhood Etiquette

I was watching some programme or other on the telly the other day and it had children on it. At the end the kids waved goodbye. They were doing the kiddie two hand wave thing where both hands wave maniacally.

Its a wave that only kids do. Adults wave with one hand. If an adult waves with both hands it usually involves the whole arm and it’s a way of getting urgent attention. If it’s not urgent then it tends to be a brief one handed wave of recognition. Young kids wave both both hands from the wrist.

What I can’t remember is what the cut-off age for two hand waving is. Other childish things have clear cut off points and anybody who crosses them gets punished. Woe betide the last boy in class to pee standing up. I still remember when clapping went from both hands together to one hand across the other. Anybody still doing the symmetrical clap got humiliated for, and I’ll warn you now the phrase used wasn’t very PC, spacker-clapping.

As far as I recall the twin waving didn’t have a humiliation stage so I’m not sure when the move to one hand waving came. All I know is that if you think you know someone and start waving then realise you don’t know them it’s far easier to turn the one handed wave into a nonchalant scratch of the head than the turbo twin hander. Maybe that’s the tipping point? Or maybe it’s when you reach pub age and the other hand is occupied with a drink?

Anybody out there have a school tease name for the two handed wave? Any adults still enjoying the two handed wave? How do you recover from it if you realise you’re waving at a complete stranger? Is there such a thing as an incomplete stranger? So many questions.