Saturday, April 08, 2006

Mother Of The Year: My Campaign Continues

Last night Alex did something - I think it was shouting "NO" at me, but it may have been unfolding all my folded towels or opening the refrigerator and drinking syrup straight from the bottle - and I put him in time out. Right now time out is very effective with A. because it removes him from the action and gives him time to settle down. It diffuses things, if you will.

Anyhoo, all I have to do for time out is say, "Alex, you did so-and-so. You need to go in time out for three minutes." And he walks to our bedroom, climbs up on the bed, and sits quietly until David or I go into the room when time is up. Then we talk about what he did (insert applicable Scripture here), we make sure he understands the practical issue and the heart issue, we wait for an apology, and we exchange "I love you's." It's a pretty clean transaction all in all. An added benefit is that it gives me time to calm down before I deal with him...mamas need time outs, too, you know.

Pretty reasonable, right? Level-headed, even?

But you haven't heard the rest of the story.

So last night when A. used the coffee table as his personal trampoline or emptied all the dog food into the pantry or whatever it was that landed him in time out, I followed him into the bedroom, made sure he was settled, and went back into the kitchen. I was trying to get supper ready and had some prep work to do...I was chopping chicken, dicing onions, sauteeing vegetables, draining noodles, mixing everything together, warming bread, and putting the main dish in the oven.

Now, if you're thinking, "Gosh, it seems like that would take longer than 3 minutes," you are so right. It did take longer than 3 minutes.

Because, you see, I forgot about my child. The one who was in time out. I pretty much just left him in the bedroom. For at least 25 minutes.

I had not heard a peep out of him, so I panicked when I realized what I'd done and figured that I would no doubt find him with a large pair of scissors and substantial chunks missing from his hair, or at the very least with all my Sharpies uncapped and our coverlet as his canvas. But when I went back in the bedroom, he was sitting there just as calm as you please. He looked no different than he did at the beginning of his marathon time out session, except for the fact that he had removed his Pull-Up and placed it in the middle of the bed.

I don't know why he decided that going commando would be the extent of his imprisoned rebellion, but I sorta chalked it up to the fact that he's a male and every so often they just need to roam free. I don't even pretend to understand why.

For what it's worth, I don't think he was traumatized by what I am now referring to as The Unfortunate Time Out Incident. But he did get a couple of packs of Veggie Tales fruit snacks as part of my pennance.

I figure we'll settle up the rest of my pennance when he reads this post at age 20 and consequently sends me the therapy bill.


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