Saturday, October 25, 2014

Yes I forgot he was in time-out

Whenever I send my kids to time-out (held in a little front office of our home), a conversation begins to brew in the depths of their little kid soul. Words just begging to come forth begin to tumble out of their lips.

How long? When can I come out? How many minutes is 4? Does 'I don't know' mean soon or long?

To ward those discussions off, I have told my children not to ask me. When they go to time-out, I will inform them of how long the punishment will be.

(A) Sometimes I tell them a minute for every year they are old.

(B) Other times I tell them that it will be longer.

Much longer.

Until "Mommy is calm and will not lose her temper" length of time.

(C) And other times I tell them that they can control the exit time. As soon as they are calmed down and not screaming like a banshee and feel like they can be a competent member of society, they can return to the real world.

Yesterday, I sent Sidge to time-out with Option (B) in effect.

Only thing was, shortly after I sent him, the world outside the time-out room begin to conspire against him.

Hannah pooped. (Bad.)

Abigail started crying. (Bump on her head.)

Isaac got wild. (He decided it was time to start running laps in the living room, and the dog thought that following him was a good idea.)

Here's my confession:

I have no earthly idea how long I left my little Sidge in time-out.

Many minutes later I began to take inventory of where we were in the day. Where's Hannah? What is Abigail doing? Is Isaac done with his school assignment?

When I got to Sidge, I couldn't find him.

I stopped everyone in their tracks and asked in my currently-scratchy-voice-almost-lost speech, "Where is Sidge?'

And suddenly I heard his little five-year-old boy voice call from the time-out room: "I"m in here."


Not good when the person in charge of when you come and go from punishment completely forgets you are in the punishment and basically confesses to that by losing track of you and going on a hunt for you.

When I walked into the little office room we use for time-outs, Sidge is sitting there, and I expect to get my own lecture about forgetting him.

But instead of questioning how I could have left him in there for so long, he went into a diatribe regarding all the things he was doing in the room that he probably wasn't supposed to have been doing.

"I sat on the iPad with my bottom. I mean, I think I did it but I maybe I did not. I think it was on accident, but it might have been on purpose. Or it might have been my back and not my bottom."

(He's currently very into making sure everything he says is 100% truthful and accurate.)

He scratched his chin, bit his bottom lip, and glanced up at the ceiling. "I went and read a kids book but only for five minutes. Or maybe seven. And then I think I did two other things I wasn't supposed to do too, but I can't remember what they are. So maybe I did them and maybe I did not."

I told him to go and play.

He seemed confused that he wouldn't be additionally lectured or punished for his time-out antics, but goodness, I felt too bad about the fact that I had forgotten he was in there altogether.

And to all those Mommies who did something similarly forgetful this past week, I'll tell you that this was not the only time I forgot where Sidge was in the last seven days. Another time, he left his school work assignment to use the bathroom. A few minutes later I started looking for him, telling him he was "in big trouble" for going to play before his school work assignment was done -- only to discover him perched on the toilet, swinging his legs, saying, "Mom, I told you I needed to poop."



That you did Sidgey.

That you did.

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