Saturday, April 21, 2007

timing out

So I was sitting on the couch with my laptop working (whatever, blogging) when I peer over to M's table and notice she'd thrown her crackers on the floor. So I said dude, pick those up right now. And she said me no want to so I replied ok, let's show your daddy. Daddy, come here. So J walks in the room and said what is it you want me to do? To which I replied I feel like being one of those women, you know, the 'wait till your father gets home' sort of chick, the kind that puts the fear of god in her children by ensuring the wrath of their father is coming. So J, ever wrathful, said M pick that crap up, and turns around and walks off.

All the while, M is joyously smashing them into the carpet. J goes back into the kitchen to finish cooking dinner, and I am still firmly lodged on the couch. After a few minutes he asks from the other room is she cleaning it up? And I look over. Negative.

So he says, you need to give her a time out. Followed by the subtle You never give her time outs.

Whatever, friend. I just don't like time outs. In fact, I'd prefer to never give another time out. They are so punative, time outs. They bore me. Time outs are boring. Chew on that, daddy-o.

So I said you challenging me to throw down the time out gauntlet? I can give her a time out any day of the week, my friend. I just choose not to. Then do it, he says. Game on, dude.

Let's not forget M is listening to this whole exchange while continuing to smash crackers.

And I'd like to state for the record I am not usually this lazy.

So I look over at M, who is now on the floor on all fours mid smash and I say M. This is so not cool. Pick up the crackers. And she says It's ok mommy, I go time out. And gets up and goes to her room. I am cracking up. And I am still on the couch. I decide our carpet sucks anyways.

J looks around the corner and says where is she? She's gone to time out, friend. I am the queen of the time out, so put that in your pipe and smoke it. I can give time outs all day long.

A few minutes later M wanders back out. Time out over, Mommy? Yes, baby. Good girl.

I like it this strategy. Now if I can only train M to feed me the crackers instead of smashing them into the floor, life would be money.

33 comments:

Blog Antagonist said...

I think time out is highly overrated as a parenting tool, especially for spirited kids like mine. Short of tying him to the chair (which, honestly, I did consider a time or two) there was no way to actually make him *stay* in time out.

I definitely had to pick my battles with DO, and still do. Crackers in the Carpet? Pffft.

slouching mom said...

Ha! I love it!

She's figuring you and J. out, all right.

Can't wait to read more about her as she gets ever savvier.

Beck said...

Time outs suck. "Go sit in your room! Yes, the room where all of your toys are!"

meno said...

You just need to teach her to vacuum.

It's always easy to be the parent telling the other parent what they need to do.

Oh, The Joys said...

Time out is not nearly as effective as threatening to withhold "the kind" (a.k.a. Milk) from The Mayor. He's a ho' for milk.

KC said...

I was just wondering today when we would implement time outs or the naughty step, whatever. Jolie certainly doesn't listen to us a large proportion of the time- I thought this was being 2? (tell me we're not cultivating a butthead.)

I'm scared of the teenage years.

kgirl said...

this made me laugh. we have just as ineffective methods, like 'chilling out' on the couch, or you know, just laughing at her because she's cute and way smarter than us.

urban-urchin said...

my son knows how to put himself in timeout. He smacks the crap out of his sister/me/his father and we can just give him the look and he drops his head, says "Awwight" and goes and sits on the bottom step.

mcewen said...

Just reading you post makes me sigh [breathe] How lucky you both are to have each other.
Best wishes

Penny. said...

ROFLMAO!!!

You have her well trained. Time outs are one thing.. but, weighing the repercussions, indulging and self-punishment.. VERY SMART.

lol.

Try natural consequence, maybe?

"M. If you crush all those crackers into the carpet, you will have to clean them up before you do anything else."

If vaacuming is way too fun for her, have her pick up every little piece with her sweet little fingers.

It works.

deb said...

She's a smart little cookie, good luck with those teenage years:)

kiki said...

I like that you cracked up over the crackers. And then you mentioned a pipe and smoke it, so that cracked me up even more.

I hate the time-outs and I hate even more that I threaten with 'daddy will hear about this' and that deep crying ensues. But I guess it follows suit since I'm the girl that needs her purse to match her shoes and won't wear white until after Memorial day. Stream of conscious much?

cinnamon gurl said...

Ha! I love this story!

Mad Hatter said...

Love it. Me and my daddeo are always discussing our discipline strategy (or lack thereof) in front of Miss M. I'm just waiting for the bite on the ass. But you know, I really don't know when me and the man could reasonably schedule a "let's discuss how to be effective parents" session.

Joker The Lurcher said...

if you had a lurcher (or indeed any dog) the crackers would not be in the carpet for five minutes!

NotSoSage said...

Mme L loves time outs. We generally only use them when she's starting to get completely out of control and it's clear she just needs to centre herself again. She usually agrees.

Mmm, crackers.

Julie Pippert said...

#1 would rather DIE than earn any degree of disapproval or disappointment. A mere arc of the brows and she crumbles, sort of, usually.

#2 would rather a spanking and be able to go ahead and do it anyway. You know, "easier to ask forgiveness than beg permission" and she does ask forgiveness so cutely.

Time outs are only when you do something that renders you unwelcome in polite company, e.g. injure someone.

That kid of yours?

She can join my two at their grand seminar of "How to run the asylum" with guest lectures by the Infamous Patience (her popular "How to sneak in bad deeds under the guise of curiosity") and the Ever-Popular Persistence (her high-demand talk on "How to get them to dance to your tune.")

She's got your number, my friend, now you need hers. :)

Julie Pippert said...

Err. P.S. Spanking is not my discipline technique, FTR. And this is no statement about any other person whatsoever. I have, however, used The Hand three times. I blogged about it, so it's true. I was simply using it as an illustration of how DD#2 would rather a punishment because it's worth it to do what she wants anyway.

alejna said...

That is a smart little girl you've got. And a very funny story.

Deb said...

I love your natural instincts, mama...just go with it....you are so already there, you gotta trust that. do you know about scott noelle at Enjoyparenting.com? There is a whole world of us raising kids with respect and no punishments of any kind. And they are beautiful loving people who are perfectly capable of living in the world socially but also critically think and question authority without fear, things I KNOW you believe in and want for miss M.....
love and light

flutter said...

My mom wasn't so great with the time out thing. She would just look at me, all 5'4" of her, and raise her sweet little southern voice at me and say
I am going to SNATCH YOU BALDHEADED!"
That pretty much took care of it.

Tabba said...

So, so young that M is to have it all figured out already.
Smart girl, she is ;)

mamatulip said...

That's awesome. M is awesome.

Aliki2006 said...

Time outs never work at our house. my son would never stay in them, and my daughter thinks they're fun. I really have never understood how some parents manage to pull them off.

Anjali said...

My kids have always done the exact same thing. When I tell them they need to go to their rooms for some quiet time, they're like "Yippee! Can we really?" I then have to beg them to come out of their rooms if I want them to come eat or run an errand, because they are so enjoying their times of isolation.

Never have, and I doubt I ever will, find a decent form of discipline that works for all of us.

Bon said...

love it! she's quite the clever little girl.

do you think M can come over and train Oscar to self discipline? and maybe me too? i could put myself in time out every time i reach for those damn jujubes.

i used to teach little ones (preschool) back in the day and i never quite figured out the time out thing...some kids saw it as a reflective suspension of regular activities so they could learn better behavior, sure, but i guarantee they weren't the majority.

crazymumma said...

While you are at it teach her how to use a corkscrew.

Um. And ya. You really showed her.

Nice passive aggressive couple moment by the way.

Hel said...

My dogs are also having cracker smashing moments.

When I got home last night they decided to take themselves for a walk. I spend half an hour searching for them only to find them waiting for me at home on my return.

I'm not sure if your interview questions got lost in the mail? (Not that I should be in a hurry. I have three outstanding interviews, two essays, a test and a presentatation. But still)

Susanne said...

Time outs never worked for us. For about a week I followed the principles of "triple p". Hahahaha! Everything turned into a power struggle. When I tried to put my son into time out in the bathroom end we ended up both hanging on the door handle from different sides screaming and crying for about 45 minutes I decided that time outs don't work for us.

And I'm really glad that we have wooden floors all over the house. no carpets...

QT said...

I'm sorry - this made me laugh. Maybe you can train her to peel grapes, too?
That M, she is a naughty one!

Momish said...

These are the kind of experiences that make being a parent so wonderful. Just when you think or know something, it all gets turned upside to heavens - for the better! Gotta love it!

The textbooks look more and more like firewood with each year, don't they?

Juliness said...

Oh wow! 'Out of the mouths of babes' and all that. Great story.

Lawyer Mama said...

You are the queen. You can get your daughter to give herself a time out. That, my friend, is some seriously skilled parenting!