Thursday, July 23, 2009

What We have Here is a Failure to Communicate

Jack (who is 3 years old) was put on Time Out.

I will spare you the details - just know that his urine, his realization that he possesses the ability to be a human squirt gun, the cat and my bathroom floor were all involved.

Okay, so Time Outs at our house involve him sitting on his rocking chair in his room.

He sits there until I say he can get up.

The door is closed.

Talking is not allowed.

The goal of the Time Out is two-fold:

Part One: Jack will reflect on what he's done wrong and how he'll NEVER do it again.

Part Two: Mommy can retreat to her room where she can lay on the bed in a fetal position and avoid doing something that will land her on the evening news.

So back to our story...

Jack has been on Time Out for approximately 5 minutes.

I walk into his room feeling a bit calmer - happy that he is sitting quietly in his chair.

I make my way over to him and crouch down on the floor so that we are eye to eye. Jack is wearing a VERY serious expression on his face and his eyes are big.

I gently take hold of both his hands and ask him, "Are you ready to be done with Time Out?"

"Yes Mommy" came the soft reply.

"Are you going to try and go potty on BelleBelle (our cat) again?"

"No Mommy."

I begin to feel a sense of triumph. I got through to him!! He understands why he's in trouble and he's not going to do it anymore. I am SUCH a good mom. I should teach a class; or at the very least receive the much coveted Mother of the Year Award. After this victory, I am a shoe-in!

With my confidence at an all-time high, I decide that it is now time to ask the most important question.

(ASIDE: I ask this question because I think it's important that kids can contextualize the discipline they receive. If they don't understand WHY they're being disciplined, they're just going to repeat the behavior and I don't think Jack (or our cat) will survive a repeat of this particular incident. Also, I want them to know that it's coming from a place of love - not of mean spiritidness).

I take a deep breath and ask,

"Jack, can you tell me why you got a Time Out?"

I hold my breath and watch intently as Jack's facial expression changes.

(I'm very eager to hear the words that I'm certain will come out his mouth which are:
"I got a Time Out because I tried to pee on the cat. I know it was wrong and I'll NEVER do it again. Thank you for making me understand that it was wrong. I'm sorry for peeing on the cat.")

I'm still holding my breath and beginning to compile my thoughts on my acceptance speech for my now-certain Mother of the Year Award.

But wait... Something is happening.

His expression contines to change.

It becomes..... dark.



He leans into me so that we are nose to nose. He inhales deeply and says with great conviction,

"I'm on Time Out..... BECAUSE. YOU'RE. MEAN."


(afterthought: Jack was not trying to be mean to the cat when he tried to pee on her. He said he was trying to cool her off. So don't call PETA on me.)


johnsonandjohnson said...

Oh dear....

We're totally into the time-outs right now. I'm thinking Emily must think we're mean too!

World of Wright said...

1. At least he wasn't trying to pee on Hope
2. Everyone is too busy calling PETA on me for wanting to shoot my dog to call PETA on you.
3. You need to have a science lesson explaining how pee is warm and will not cool off anyone or anything.

Diane Davis said...

flippin hilarious!!!

Brazenlilly said...

I CAN SO RELATE! To all except the cat.

Don said...

Mean momma...MEAN MOMMA!!!

StephanieJ said...

A friend of mine has a GREAT story involving little boys, potty, and mean moms! Her son was 3, potty training, etc....he had done something hienous for which she left him in his carseat in the car for a few minutes so that she could calm down before killing him :) (windows rolled down, in the driveway....deep breaths everyone)....anyways, she went out a couple minutes later to get him and talk to him about his behavior and if he was ready to calm down and as she opened the car door she noticed he was COVERED in urine. He had peed all over himself, his carseat - he was SOAKED. She flipped, as we all do at times, and asked him why he went potty in his carseat. His reply - "I didn't go potty in my carseat. My penis is crying because YOU'RE SO MEAN!"