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Time Out

I WILL break you, Devil Woman.  You might have won this battle. . .but it's a LONG war.

I WILL break you, Devil Woman. You might have won this battle. . .but it’s a LONG war.

Yesterday, was a little rough.

Mac typically does really awesome on his walks and during time away from the house, but I’m finding his behavior at home is increasingly obnoxious.

All I can figure is he’s bored at home.  We got him new and improved toys for his birthday.   And I try to think up fun little things to do while we’re at home but he’s more interested in either bitching and moaning for the “phone” or hell-bent on destroying something. . .Or playing in the sink.  He is obsessed with the sink.  He has to have the cleanest hands in all of Baltimore.  He washes his hands at least 45 times a day.

This is a disappointing development since I was hoping as he got a little older, I could trust him to play independently for very short stretches of time, especially with another on the way.  But right now, I spend most of my time at home watching him like a hawk for fear he’s going to somehow blow up the entire place.

I’m on the hunt for new, fun things we can do together this summer outside of the house BUT I also need him to be able to amuse himself at home for short stretches.  I just do.  And while I realize he’ll get there eventually, I’m KNOCKED UP and I don’t necessarily have the luxury of waiting for him to figure it out.  I’m already getting awake at literally the crack of dawn just to keep up with my own chores.

He definitely needs some um encouragement in the independent play department, dare I say?

Yesterday, after I got awake at 5:30 sanded drywall, painted the trim in the bathroom, did two loads of laundry, prepped dinner, wrote a blog post, framed a couple of prints, unloaded the dishwasher, and managed to wash my own face for the first time since Saturday, Mac and I walked to the grocery, the hardware store, and then headed to the Park for a walk and some time at the Playground.

Everything was going great.

Until we got home.  

The second we walked in the door, Mac’s attitude changed.  He was tired and hungry.

I happily suggested we pull off his shoes and socks since they were wet from playing in puddles at the park.

He had other ideas.

I got the shoes and socks off but not without triggering a fit.

I was hoping to keep him calm enough to get some lunch in him so I decided I would try to redirect him.  Except I was trying to redirect him AND get his lunch on the table.  Which means he ended up getting redirected to the refrigerator where he set his sights on Daddy’s gin.  (Trust me kid, if that gin were an option for Mommy right now, MOMMY WOULD BLIND YOU WITH SPEED!)

I was tempted to give him the bottle just so he’d shut it but figured if he cut himself  I’d have a LOT of explaining to do to the attending ER physician.  And I told him that. . .As I slammed shut the refrigerator door.

Of course he promptly collapsed to the floor into a full-on fit.

This time, I chose to ignore him.

Except the little bastard must be working on his endurance, because he didn’t stop after a few seconds or even a few minutes.  He.  Kept.  Going.

What the hell?  Is there something really wrong with this kid?  This isn’t typical.

I had his lunch ready so I decided it was time to intervene.

I sat down on the floor beside him and rubbed his back for a few seconds asking him if he could tell me why he was so upset.  But the wailing and flailing continued.

So I picked him up and put him on my lap.

He looked me straight in the eye and TOOK A SWING AT MY FACE.

I managed to dodge his little fists of fury and firmly but calmly told him hitting people is NOT nice and will NOT be tolerated.

He continued to cry. . .and a few seconds later, HE PUNCHED ME IN THE THROAT.

Now, years in the fast food and financial services industry have given me a pretty high tolerance for bullshit but I knew I couldn’t let this little indiscretion go unacknowledged.

So as soon as I could speak again, I scooped him up and told him we needed to take a time out to think about his decision to hit me.

I’ve never put a kid in time out.  Although I’ve been ahem dreaming about this day and I had played over the steps in my head.  I knew from reading a few articles and from what our Pediatrician told us, that I’d likely have to sit in time out with him.  And that it was key that I not show any emotion.  And that I basically needed to ignore him while we were “timed out.”  I also knew he should be in time out for one minute for every year old he was. . .two minutes.

Do you know how long two minutes is when you’re trying to hold an irate two-year old in a bear hug on your lap and not show any emotion?

It might as well be fucking eternity. . .in HELL.  A very hot, squirmy, painful, Hell.

We wrestled on the sofa.  I tried to maintain my composure.  It was like trying to subdue an alligator.  He thrashed violently.

Don’t squeeze him too hard.  Oh crap, he weaseled away again.  Get him!  Arms down.  That’s it, sit still. . .Oh shit.  Stop squirming.  I’m going to laugh.  Don’t laugh.  You cannot laugh.  This is complete bullshit.  There’s no way this is effective.  He’s getting nothing out of this.  Someone is going to get hurt.  It’s going to be me.  I know it.  He’s going to elbow me in the teeth.  I have no watch.  I have no idea how long I’ve been trying to wrangle this kid. . .FUCK THIS.  If you want to grow up being a disrespectful, miserable little bastard, FINE!  I’ve tried.  I KNEW I wasn’t cut out for parenting.  

I relented.  By my best estimates we had been wrestling on the sofa for approximately 45 seconds.

Mac took off from the sofa like a shot still wailing and I slumped backwards to catch my breath.

Complete fail. 

Except, as I was collecting myself for Round 3, something happened:

Mac stopped crying AND he went to his seat at the table and asked for help to get in it.

I put him in the seat and very hesitantly offered him his lunch tray figuring he was going to throw the thing to the floor immediately.

But he didn’t.

He sniffled. . .and picked up a grape.

What just happened here?

Did that wrestling thing on the sofa actually work?

 It was dumb luck wasn’t it?

I’m going to stick with my delusional belief that it was my superior parenting.  

PS Once he was settled and eating, I was sure to quickly explain why we had to take some time out and remind him that I loved him. . .He shrugged his shoulders, jammed some carrot in his face and asked me to “Put Big on.”  (The movie The Big Year.  The ONLY thing he’ll watch on TV.)









9 Responses to “Time Out”

  1. Meredith says:

    Oh, so not funny, but I’m laughing because I so feel your pain. My daughter takes swings at us during these bouts too & she’s also pretty adept at grabbing handfuls of my hair.

    Thankfully, my honey was reading Toddler 411 the other night & assures me that this trend will pass (the fits, not the attempted hitting – that had better cease real soon!), hopefully, by the time she’s FOUR. I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry. 😉

    • admin says:

      Barely two and already pulling hair? Girls. Ha!

      I’ve heard folks whispering that three is often worse than two. Terrifying!

      Keep laughing. It’s the ONLY way! GOOD LUCK.

  2. Jennifer says:

    I think I may have to send you my little sister’s number 🙂 She has 5 kids, yes 5. Three of which are red headed girls. She can give you the full dirt on how well time out works. She was just telling me yesterday about an incident with the trunk of the car, a lighter, and someone’s singed hair all of which collided in the 2.5 minutes she didn’t have an eyeball glued to them.
    Jennifer recently posted…Raising the TitanicMy Profile

    • admin says:

      Five kids? Bless her! I’d love to have loads of kids. . .but as a regular reader, you realize this is probably not advisable. Ha.

      I LOVED the photos you posted of your new house. I looked at them a few days ago. The house looks amazing.

  3. Not to scare you, but…. 3 is worse. I swear. I’m CHEERING today because my monster was accepted a year early into a great preschool program- I’m cheering because this year he was only in preschool about 7 hours a week and it didn’t keep him busy enough during all the rest of his downtime. Now he’ll have structure and learning and play, oh my!

    Good luck mama.
    Anita @ Losing Austin recently posted…To The Class of 2013My Profile

    • admin says:

      I have heard 3 is terrible too. . .and sometimes four. There ARE a few good years before the teenage years right? 🙂

      Wonderful news about your son. I read your post this morning. How exciting he’ll get to go to school with his big brother for a year. That’s how it worked out with my sisters and me and I have lots of good memories about being in the same school. (Also, I LOVE LOVE the name Drew. My brother named one of his sons Andrew and they call him Dewie – also adorable!)

      I am frantically lining up activities for our little monster. Although I’m scared to commit too much for this fall because I’ll be so pregnant. But I think ultimately, it might be easier on me to have him engaged in programs outside the house because as you said, there will be structure and learning and play that I don’t have to provide entirely by myself all day every day. Although, with all the programs I’m looking at, I will have to attend with him since he’s just two.

      Good times! Ugh. 🙂

  4. Shay says:

    I say celebrate the Time Out, Mama!!
    Shay recently posted…It’s a Last-Minute Father’s Day GIVEAWAY, Skanksters!!My Profile