I Just Put Baby in the Corner – Literally
it was bound to happen eventually. i just didn’t think it would happen today. but it did. another milestone to cross off the list. like first steps and first words and first nights with a top sheet. we’ve had our first time-out.
it went down like this.
as we do every night, EBN was eating her dinner (mac and cheese with peas – her favorite) while skyping with nani and p’pa. but unlike every night, she wasn’t into it. she wasn’t eating, she wasn’t really engaging in her typically charming way. she was restless. maybe it was due to the fact that she was back in the high chair after weeks at her pint-size table. maybe it was due to her almost 3.5 hour nap this afternoon (yes, it was awesome). maybe it was that she was pissed i was serving leftovers. whatever the reason, she was being obnoxious.
after a few more minutes of getting nowhere fast with dinner i let her up from the table and she took off. i assumed that she was heading into her bedroom, where she’s been spending more and more time since we made the transition to toddler bed. but when i caught up with her i found her in my office. that’s a no-no. yes, it was my fault that the gate was open and so i asked EBN to come out of the room and gently(ish) reminded her that she’s not allowed in there without me. she was none to happy with this request and stomped (like her mama) and pouted (like her mama) when i eventually picked her up and brought her into her room. in moments though she was happily playing with THE COUNT and i was washing the dishes from her now discarded dinner.
while the water in the sink was still running i watched her toddle into our bedroom, and then silence. knowing that something was up, i turned off the water and poked my head in the room to find her up on our bed, throwing herself back, just as she had INFAMOUSLY DONE a few weeks ago. ”EBN,” i reminded her sternly, “we do not get on mommy and daddy’s bad without mommy and daddy in the room. remember, no more monkeys jumping on the bed.” and then, she looked me square in both eyes and threw herself back again.
and thus was born the first time-out.
i didn’t have a plan. heck, i didn’t have a place. ABN and i have not had a conversation about this. but there are times when a mama’s gotta do what a mama’s gotta do.
i picked her up calmly and quickly and brought her to the back corner of our bedroom – we have a bit of an alcove, with a door leading to the back yard. i put her down and said, “we are having a time-out. don’t move.” and then i left the room. i went back and finished washing dishes. about 30 seconds later i turned to look and could see she was making her way down the hallway towards me. ”no, you are still on time-out. go back.” and back she went. weird.
then she started to scream. and she continued to scream for the remaining 60 seconds of her time out. i went with 90 seconds because i feel like i read somewhere (blog? book?) that a time-out should be the same number of minutes as the kid is years.
EBN is just 5 short weeks away from turning 2. lucky her.
it was the longest 90 seconds of my life.
when it was over (yes, i stared at my watch and those last 10 seconds were pretty killer) i went into our bedroom and got down next to her. she stopped crying.
“you had a time-out because you jumped on the bed and you know there is a rule – no more monkeys jumping on the bed. it scares mommy when you do that. i love you very much. do you understand?”
“can you tell mommy you are sorry?”
“i love you.”
“love you too.”
she’s fiesty. she whines when she doesn’t get her way. she recovers well. she gets moody around 4pm but a snack makes it better. she loves her bed but doesn’t want to miss the fun that is often going on in the other room. she’s like her mama.
we had our first time out – and we all lived. now mama could use a glass of wine.