so i'm fairly certain that time-out has lost it's effectiveness in our house. last week, after coming to get the two-year-old out of the chair, i said in my very best supernanny voice, "do you know why you're in time out?" he looked at me and said, "no. can i pote your face?" and then proceeded to tap his chubby little finger on my cheek and say, "haha. pote.pote." "why are you poking my face?" "beee-tuz... it's funny."
i suppose my first warning sign the other night during their bath should have come when i stopped hearing talking, and heard instead only laughing. like, gut-busting- almost-crying type of laughing. thinking to myself how lucky i was to have two kids who get along so well, i kept taking advantage of the good moods and stayed in the room across the hall putting away the laundry. i suppose my first mistake was to ever leave the room in the first place. and i suppose my children never want to hear their father yell at them like that again. but O.M.G. seriously. i heard the yell and went running in, only to find that the two of them (now yanked out of the tub and in tears) had taken cupfuls of water and thrown them over the edge of the tub, leaving a good inch or two of water ALL over the bathroom floor. the three-year-old couldn't even keep a straight face for the two minutes it took for me to dry him off and dress him. "mama is very upset. i cannot believe you did this" i said, trying to be stern and serious. trying to be serious with me, he said, "ok. i know". and then burst out laughing. great. that was effective.
and tonight was the best yet. every single night, they get served their dinner at the table and begin eating while i go back in to the kitchen to make my own plate so i can sit and eat with them. this is nothing new. so why then tonight did they absolutely lose their minds? this time i knew better, though. instead of reveling in the moment when i heard nothing but gut-busting laughter, i dropped everything and ran in to see what was going on. little chopped up pieces of saucy spaghetti were EVERYWHERE. the table, the floor, the baseboards over by the window, the cushion of the chair in the corner, their hair, bellies, and faces. not knowing what to do, i sent one to the living room "go sit in time out. no, not there. on the floor. don't get sauce everywhere". the other one got sent to his room. during clean up i said to each one individually, "that was a terrible decision. throwing food everywhere makes mama's house very dirty. do you want to live in a dirty house?" the three-year-old's response: "yes. hahaha. i will put toothpaste on the floor too so you will slip in it". the two-year-old's response: "i say ooh ooh ah ah ooh".
i have a friend who just found out she's pregnant with her second baby. she told me she's completely freaked out and asked me if i have any pointers. ha. yeah right, my life is total insanity.