Wednesday, April 02, 2008

The dreaded time out episode

For the most part Olivia is a very well behaved little girl. However she does have that temper that will flair to remind us that the terrible two's are just around the corner. I have been dealing with behavior issues as they come. She knows that I am immune to crying, all my years working with kids has made me deaf to it, so unusually she will complain a little then do the right thing.Well that was not the case last weekend.
Olivia had been coloring with her Bappamom. Accidentally her coloring book fell, Liv let out a "ughhhhhhhhh". I said "It's OK just pick it up and color again". Her response was to throw her entire box of 46 Crayola crayons to the floor. Calmly I replied, " Oh Olivia that's not nice, now help me pick them up". Her response was to shake her head no. At that moment I felt the room narrow and we both stared each other down like in an old cowboy movie. This was it, she was testing me, but was I prepared. She usually will help me pick them up. "Olivia, help Mommy pick up the crayons. " I said to buy myself more time and to give her a chance to give the right answer" She shakes her head no again without taking her eyes off me.
This was it, I had read it in the books, and I knew I could not walk away. She wasn't sick, she wasn't tired, there was no excuse. I had to pull out the time out card. I like the time out method since it not only gives them a time out but you also. But suddenly at this moment I forgot everything I had read. I had to go on instinct. Where is Supernanny when you need her?
"Olivia help pick up the crayons, or your going to have to go in timeout. Do you want to go in time out?" I said as I squatted down to her level. I'm expecting another another no. Her response, she said "yes". A lump grew in my throat, Parker covered his eyes, Vinay and his Mom just watched. It was all up to me. "OK you have to go in time out", I said as I took her hand. Problem was I hadn't decided where time out would be. I hadn't bought a naughty chair, I hadn't designated a certain step. So I just led her two feet to the step between the kitchen and the family room. "OK Olivia, here is time out, you can't play until you clean up the crayons. Will you help clean up the crayons now?" She shook her head "no" and looked very content to sit on the step. Again not the answer I was looking for. I dare not look at anyone but her. I actually wanted to laugh, is this girl for real. She had seen other kids in time out, I knew she understood what was going on. At that moment she started sliding around on her butt. I went over and put her back in her spot and said. "Olivia you can't play until you help clean up the crayons. We're going to color without you." I motioned to the two statues, just watching this all go down. I mean Vinay and his Mom mine as well have had a bucket of popcorn, they were watching so intently. They started shuffling thru her coloring books. "Olivia will you help clean up now?"
Please say yes, please say yes, was all I could think. She shook her head "no". How long can this go on, come on, I was out of ideas. So finally I said "Oh well Olivia, I guess your still in time out, but I'm going to play with your kitchen set?" As I walked over to her playroom. "Olivia do you want to play with your kitchen" "Yes" was her answer. "OK will you help clean up the crayons?" "Yes" was her answer. YES she said YES. Thank God she said YES. She got up helped Vinay and his Mom clean up the crayons and we all played kitchen set.
Was this one small step for Mom and one giant leap for parenthood? Probably not, I mean did she really get that if she doesn't do what we say she will be in time out? Will she remember that I won that battle? I'm thinking no, but at least I knew that I could do it. I knew that for that one small minute she did not rule the house. I was in charge and in control. For the rest of that afternoon the house was in perfect harmony. But only until later that night when she tried to eat a penny after I told her not too, and I had to dig it out of her mouth. But hey one step at time.
Happily sitting on the time out step, but just on her own, I didn't put her there.
The scene of the confrontation. The coloring table.
Enjoying some coloring before bedtime.


Bekah said...

good work, mom! those are such tough moments. way to stay strong!

Kim said...

Yeah - we've been using time out and I'm not sure it's working. ;) Alex kept asking to be put in time out the other day. He cracks me up. Way to go on wining the first battle!!!

Ellie said...

Can I borrow Liv for a while to teach ANGELENA...

You did GREAT MOMMY! I am trying new things now too... BUt, they don't seem to be working all that well...

I was told, I just have a child that is just like me... OH NO!~


Anonymous said...

Awesome! SuperNik! Next time try to not even talk to her so much. I say to Emily this is why you are sitting here in time out and then I walk away. If she ever moved off the couch, I put her right back and I also set the timer on the oven. I say 2 minutes and then you can get down and try again. She hates being ignored and her feeling are hurt so she will eventually cave and pick up what she threw or whatever. This has lessened as we are approaching 3, but it's always something and that something is INDEPENDENCE. She's like a small William wallace leading a brigade of babies who say I can do it Myself! At this point, she'd be happy to give herself a timeout. She's starting to realize when she gets frustrated and needs to walk away, but at the same time shefights herself to prove that she isn't weak. Very frustrating for me to watch. Did you ever see a dog chase his own tail. That's what it's like trying to watch her put on her own coat lately. It's just one phase after the other.

Ginger--Maya's mommy said...

We are doing time out also. Maya sometimes just puts herself in the chair. Maya is good most of the time but she does have a temper.

Robyn said...

Sounds like you did a great job!! Miss G has a terrible temper and there are many times we could use a visit from Supernanny!! :)