Friday, July 15, 2011

I am sure this may be hard to believe, but occasionally, this little girl misbehaves. 
She has been known to say, "No" very sternly when asked to do something or when asked not to do something. She has been known to swat at her mommy or daddy when things don't go her way. She's also been known to run from her mommy and daddy in hopes to avoid being punished. When those things do occur, she usually finds herself here.
This is our timeout corner. The place where Morgan Kate sits for about two or three minutes to ponder her actions and behavior. It's where she sits perfectly still wriggles around and hollers out, "Mommy! Daddy! No do this." Once her time is up she apologizes and she gives us a hug and a kiss. I have no clue if this is the right way or wrong way to do things, but it's our way. And so far it works. Most of the time. She's two, going on three, she's going to do things that drive us crazy and things that we don't approve of. Heck, she's going to do those things until she's a mommy one day, probably even longer. I'm pretty sure I probably still do things that drive my momma crazy. My point is, when she does things that we think deserve some sort of punishment, then she ends up in the timeout corner. It's a place for her to cool off, think, reflect and it gives us a minute or two to do the same. When she does things that might harm her little life like run down the street from us or she deliberately defies us again and again, well then, she gets a little pop on the thigh. And I do mean little. I have learned time and time again to pick my battles. I also try to think a lot about her behavior, what caused it, why did she do it, etc. If she's coloring on the walls because I'm too busy talking on the phone, well then shame on her and on me. If she deliberately colors on the floor while we are coloring together, then a big shame on her. Anyway, I apologize. This was not supposed to be a post about our discipline techniques, it was supposed to be out the timeout corner and the doors. Yes, doors.
You see so far this corner has worked perfectly. Remember, our house is the size of a shoebox, so we don't have a lot of extra space for timeout, etc. I never wanted timeout to take place in her room because I wanted her room to be her safe place, her fun place. And it is. I didn't want it to be our room because again, I wanted her to feel completely comfortable there and I didn't want to associate it with punishment. The den and the kitchen are too busy and the bathrooms, well they are bathrooms. Gross. The only other places were this corner and the guest bedroom. I wanted a place where I could see her if I needed to, but also a place where she was somewhat confined. I can't see her in the guest bedroom, therefore, this corner became the spot. We would close all of the doors, sit her in the corner and close the baby gate. (Side note: That baby gate isn't even for our baby, it's for our dog.) (Also, just so there is no confusion, I use the term corner very loosely. We don't sit her in that same spot every time with her nose in the corner or anything.) She would serve her time in that seven foot hallway and then she could come out. We could see her, she could hear us. She wasn't completely confined, no doors were shut and it worked perfectly. Until early last week. 

Early last week she learned how to open the doors. All of them. We now have to keep all doors leading outside locked and the deadbolt on. And when she needs to do her time in the timeout corner we now have to lock all of the doors in that hallway, otherwise, instead of cooling off, thinking and reflecting, she's instead playing, dancing and singing. Earlier today she was playing with a glass lantern in my bedroom. I asked her to stop two or three times and I told her why she needed to stop. Total safety issue there. She looked at me, said "No" and then swatted as if she were going to hit me. I calmly grabbed her by the hand, told her where she was going and why, sat her in the corner and started to close all of the doors. Then it occurred to me that she could easily open all of those doors. In my haste I decided to lock all of the doors and then I walked away. Fifteen minutes later when I need to use the computer I couldn't get the door open to the guest room. We do have these little stick key things that we got when we first moved in, but it literally took me about ten minutes or so to get it to work. I then spent the next twenty minutes opening her door and the bathroom door. Maybe locking them was not the best idea. But, what am I going to do? My perfect little timeout corner is not so perfect anymore. Hopefully, she'll just be so well behaved that we never have to use it again. 

One can dream, can't they?


Kathy Hardison said...

Dream on :) I am really enjoying this stage of MK's life. LY&MY

Jenna said...

my name is Jenna and I came across your site. Morgan Kate is an amazing, cute and special little. I love the pic of her with sauce all over her face, cute! I was born with a rare life threatening disease, and love it when others sign my guestbook.