Thursday, June 12, 2008

Our First Time Out

So the girls are now up from their naps. I offer them something to drink, because I'm sure they're thirsty.

Large Fry wants chocolate milk.

I give the twin Fries juice.

Large Fry throws her sippy cup down to the floor in full view of Unca D. He tells her to pick it up.

I come back into the playroom (formerly the dining room) and ask Large Fry to do what her uncle just told her to, and please go pick up her chocolate milk.

She just looks at me, a rather pitiful expression on her face. You can't possibly mean that, can you?

I tell her again to please pick up her cup, using her full first name, rather than her nickname.

Stoic silence.

I go into the living room to rescue my laptop before the twinnies notice it's in there and they can play with all the buttons, and look at Hubby. He gets up and goes out to the playroom. "Large Fry," he says sternly, "do what I said. Go pick up your cup."

One lower lip, out a city block.

He takes her by the hands and leads her from the playroom into the living room, has her bend over, and tells her again to pick up her cup. She's now in full crying mode, and not in any kind of mood to be cooperative. "Pick up your chocolate milk," Hubby says in his I Will Be Obeyed voice.

She won't.

She gets spanked. One swat, hard enough to make an impression but not hard enough to hurt through her diaper. Just enough to shock, and make it clear that refusal is not an option. (I'd apologize to those of you who disagree with corporal punishment, but I think it does have its place.)

More tears and screams.

Hubby goes out to get the little plastic table and chairs my parents brought with them when they visited earlier in the day. He puts the little yellow chair in the playroom, and has Large Fry, still screaming, sit in it. He heads back out for the table, and I watch to make sure she's staying put while trying to maintain nerves of steel.

Ignoring her is surely the worst form of punishment when she cries like that. How mean are YOU, Auntie, for not saving me from mean Unca D?

By the time Hubby comes back into the house, she's down to a whimper. He lets her get up when she says she's done crying.

It's now about an hour since that time out, and another one has begun. Large Fry decided that she wanted to take the other little yellow plastic chair that her sister was playing with. Unca D objected, especially when Large Fry decided to try to push and shove Medium Fry out of the way so she could take the chair back where SHE thought it should be. Rather than doing what Unca D said, she proceeded to throw a small fit and try to manhandle (toddlerhandle?) her sister even more. She screamed when he wouldn't let her take it, and continued to cry. Another time out! She was probably there for another five minutes before she was ready to stop crying.

Hubby looked over at me as I was typing, dispassionately trying to ignore the Time Out drama. "Am I doing the right thing?" he asked.

"Oh, yeah. She has to learn that she needs to share; she can't dominate who uses what toy all the time."

"Okay," he said, still looking a little unsure. He then turned to Large Fry. "Are you ready to stop crying?"

I guess she nodded, for he continued. "You need to share with your sisters, and let them play with things. You can't take things that they are playing with. You need to wait your turn."

Bedtime is in three hours. I wonder how many time outs we'll have between now and then....

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