Time Out

Violet has added a new command to her arsenal - up.

Sometimes it comes out like "hup! hup! hup!" when she's done with dinner or knows it's time to get out of the car.

Other times it's a wailing "uuuuuuuup!" complete with arms stretched in the air, often when my own arms are full of something else.

Either way, it's one of the more annoying demands she has learned. I'm trying to be patient, I am. But I can't help but wonder if my advanced little girl is hitting her terrible twos a bit early.

See, Violet's also mastered the word "no". Ironically, she still can't say yes or even nod. So every question is answered with "no" or sometimes "nuh?" her little voice trailing up at the end to turn it into its own question.

Not only does she answer questions with no, she also lets the dreaded word fly whenever she's the slightest bit displeased. When I turn off the tv. When I remove her plate because she's tossing food on the floor after being asked to stop. No has even been accompanied by a disrespectful swat of the hand (she batted at a little girl in the library the other day and I thought I would die of mortification).

I feel like we've reached a crucial stage in our parenting where it's time to really start laying the foundation for how we are going to rear this child, and I don't want to botch it, but she makes me so mad sometimes! Somehow I have to teach her that she's not allowed to just say no to her mommy because she feels like it... at least not until she's 15!

So... we've started time out. The pediatrician said it was fine (it was actually one of the topics in our 15-month well check packet), my trusted mom friends said it was time, and hopefully the grandmas won't freak out when they hear about it. If she's old enough to sass me, she's old enough to pay for it!

And trust me when I say that Girlfriend knows exactly what she's doing. I'm not punishing the innocent, don't worry. Case in point: the other day during our neighborly dinner, Violet kept whining about my water. She had her own cup (with a lid, because she hasn't mastering drinking topless lidless) but no, that wasn't good enough. She wanted my water. Finally, just to give us all some peace, I gave her a sip. But then she wanted to stick her nasty, grubby little hand in my pristine, refreshing water. I repeatedly asked her to stop, in a tone that escalated in firmness until finally I took her hand out of the glass and said sternly, "If you put your hand in my water again, you are going to time out." Well, she meekly withdrew. We resumed eating. And 30 seconds later, her fingers were slyly submerging themselves again.

A collective gasp went up from the table. And if there's one thing I do know about parenting (or teaching or life in general), it's that you have to follow through. So I promptly whisked my disobedient child out of her chair with an ominous "uh-oh" and plopped her in time out. Then I returned to the dining room where we all listened to Violet holler her head off. But she stayed put for the full minute, and I give her credit for that. I'm not exactly sure she understood the lesson, and just to be safe I decided that dinner was over for that particular night.

Oh well, it's a work in progress. I'm pretty sure I deserve a few timeouts myself every now and again.

And just to prove she's not all rotten... May I present: Chocolate Chip Muffins for Breakfast (Not My Brightest Mom Moment): An Act in Three Parts

Bed Head




  1. This grandma says time out was invented for a reason, and it gives both parent and child a break so they don't do something they will regret!!! One minute won't adversly affect her life. Give her a big hug from us.

  2. That's great! Stick with it...stay strong...and don't forget to give mommy a time out every now and then. I love the bed head!!!


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