Friday, June 19, 2009

Losing my "time out" virginity

I am a little giddy.

I put my child in time out for the first time ever tonight, and it actually worked.

She decided to yank my hair - which hurt - and I told her to stop. Then she yanked it again, and I started to yell (trying to restrain that impulse). Then she did it again. I looked her in the eye and threw down the gauntlet.

"If you pull my hair again you are going into time out."

Her eyes grew wide and she immediately said, "No." I'm not sure how she even knew about time out. We definitely haven't talked about it.

She stroked my hair and looked at me. I gave her a final warning. "Remember, if you pull my hair you are going into time out."

She waited, just a moment.


"Okay. You are going into time out."

This was a good one for me. I wasn't at all stressed or angry by the situation, and could handle Will crying and yelling "No! No time out!"

I pulled out a chair in the dining room and placed her on it. "You need to stay here for one minute." I walked away into the kitchen.

Of course she got off and ran to me.

I put her back on the chair. "You need to stay here. For one minute."

We did the back and forth dance a few more times. This was where I got a bit anxious. She was overtired and should have been in the tub. What if she never stayed on the chair?

Then on the sixth or seventh return, she stopped crying and sat.

I walked into the kitchen, turned away from her, and watched the clock. I could hear her mumbling "Mommy . . ." under her breath. After about a minute and a half, I went back to the chair and crouched in front of her. She gave me a big smile.

"Why did you have to sit in time out?"

"Pull Mama's hair."

"That's right. Are you going to pull anyone's hair again?"


"Good job."

She gave me a big hug.

I think I did a pretty good job myself.

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