Sunday, January 3, 2010

Off to a Good Start

2010 is already off to a great start. We've painted, we made up a new joke, and we've had our first Time Out.

Penny likes crayons and will use pencils and pens to draw (in the absence of crayons), but we branched out this weekend and tried the paints we got from our friends for Xmas.

The artist at work:

I think she's a natural.

Penny will now repeat anything we say, including "Dude," "Oh, Good God," and "Whoa, Mama!" In our efforts to curb the amount of swearing around here, I said something nonsensical, which she thought was hilarious, so I continued:

Me: "Oh, Griddlecakes!"
Penny: (Laughing hysterically). "More?"
Me: "Oh, Hammerpants!"
Penny: (Laughing). "More?"
Me: "Oh, Poodlefluff!"
Penny: (Giggling). "More?"

And we went on like that. But later, she thought it was funny to hit Daddy, and when I was getting her ready for bed, she kicked me in the solar plexus, and kicked me AGAIN, even after I told her not to. After the third strike, Time Out ensued.

It shouldn't surprise you to know that I had been reading up on this so I would be fully prepared for a Time Out Situation (TOS). Britt and I discussed it ahead of time and we decided we didn't want the time out location to be in her room, or in her bed. We decided the best place would be to have her sit against the wall in the living room, away from anything that might be tempting to play with. I said, "You're going to time out because you kicked Mommy," had her sit in the designated spot, and watched the clock for 1 minute. We gave her our most serious and stern faces to show we weren't kidding. She was quite entertained by the notion of sitting against the wall and saw fit to giggle through the whole minute. When time out was over, we continued getting ready for bed, and guess what happened? She KICKED ME and she LAUGHED.

So. Time Out #2 ensued, with a stern lecture about how it wasn't funny, not funny AT ALL. We don't kick, because that hurts and it isn't nice. Oh, but Penny thought it was highly amusing. Time Out #2 ended (we went for 2 minutes this time, because she is almost 2 years old), I proceeded to put on Penny's pajamas, when she KICKED ME AGAIN.

Time Out #3 was swiftly executed, with Britt and I busying ourselves in the room, ignoring the giggling toddler who was really enjoying this new spot on the floor. Fortunately, she did not kick me again. But when I was getting her tooth brush ready, I noticed she left her room and was sitting in the Time Out Spot of her own volition, merrily kicking her feet and talking to herself. It's her new favorite spot. Oh, we are so screwed.

I have to admit, I almost laughed during Time Out #1, because she was so entertained by our feeble attempt at punishment, and our little troublemaker looked so cute sitting there. See? That's how they get you. Britt and I looked at each other and read each other's minds. We couldn't laugh or show any signs of weakness. We were SERIOUS, dammit. But the second and third times, it wasn't funny, and it made me realize this discipline thing isn't going to be easy.

It's going to be a long year.
When does old fashioned guilt start working?


sheree said...

Love the nonsense words. We're in for a hard one with the swearing. Why is it so easy not to swear at work, but so difficult around my own dear child?
Sorry time out isn't working for you. I have no advice. At even a threat of counting to 3, Jackson has a breakdown. No laughter.

April said...

Oh, my friend... I have been there. Time out is cute and funny in the beginning for everyone but that ends pretty quickly. Soon time out will be a place of much caterwauling and dispair. (Gray put himself in time out in the beginning too.) We have a similar time out spot (in the living room, against the wall) and I am thinking we need to get a chair or mat of some sort since he tends to slither all over the floor while he is crying, instead of staying where he is supposed to. Lately I have taken to sitting in front of him and holding him in one place while avoiding eye contact and counting "one one thousand, two..." in my head until I reach the two minute time limit. This is working since he is starting to stay in one spot. (And as horrifying as holding my kid down in time out sounds it is apparently pretty common- two of my friends have to restrain their kids sometimes in TO.) Time out SUCKS. But so does kicking.

April said...

I'm tired... I meant to say "despair"... although now I'm looking at that and it doesn't look right either! Oy.