Lately I’ve been trying to use logical consequences to address some of Scarlette’s behavior issues. Mostly because I was becoming suspicious that she did not actually care one whit when I put her in time-out. This child keeps me on my toes. Literally, because I’m always having to grab her down off the top of stuff.
She likes to play this game where she runs full speed across the room and lets the wall stop her. I don’t mean the wall acts as some sort of boundary whereby she approaches it and begins to conciously slow down on account of the solid expanse of sheet rock in front of her. No, I mean she literally runs full force smack into the wall.
Do you know who does not like this game? Me. I don’t like it. And not just because I’m tired of Magic Eraser-ing tiny little body prints off my wall. I have forbidden this little wall body-slamming game. I have also forbidden the variation of said game in which she flings her body at the back door. (No, I don’t know why.) (I have a theory that she thinks she’s Elastigirl.)
So yesterday she zoomed across the kitchen (literally, she was yelling, “ZOOM! ZOOM!”) and bounced herself right off the kitchen window. I had one of those horrific parenting moments where you see what could happen in place of what is actually happening and in my head I pictured her plunging right through the panes of the kitchen window.
The problem with logical consequences is that in my moment of sheer panic I could not think fast enough to come up with something clever to reinforce all those talks we’ve had about safety and staying alive and Mommy’s nerves.
So I just ordered her overly energetic self straight to time-out.
“SCARLETTE,” I hollered, “TIME OUT RAT NAO!”
She settled herself in the corner all prim and proper with her criss-cross applesauce. And then she looked up at us sweetly and replied, very sincerely, as though I needed the consolation, “It’s okay Mommy. I don’t mind when you have to put me in time out.”
I knew it.