Let me paint the scene. O was in a very destructive mood. She kept taking all the books off the shelf, and in the middle of the books, she threw her crayons. And I didn’t say anything. She’s playing, she didn’t break anything, but that’s what she wants to do.
But then it was time to get ready for bed.
O, Can you put your crayons in the bucket? She looked at the crayons, then at me, and she walked away.
I started putting her toys away. O, can you put the crayons in the bucket? She looked at the crayons again, pretty much telling me, YOU put the crayons in the bucket. Turns around, and presses the ball popping thing. I walk over, and I turn off the ball popping thing. She cries. O, Put the crayons in the bucket. She walks away from me, and goes to her mail box toy. O, No, you have to put your crayons away! I take the mail box away, and put it in the living room. She follows me, crying, the pacifier dangling from her mouth. You get it back only when you put the crayons in the bucket. She’s followed me back to her room, crying.
I start thinking that maybe because she is so tired, maybe this was not the best time to do a teaching moment. But at this point it’s too late to turn around. I’ve already laid down the line… she needs to put the crayons in the bucket. And she hasn’t, and if I back down now, then she has won. So I continue…
O, Put the crayons in the bucket. She turns on her heals and starts pulling the books off the shelves. The ones I JUST finished putting away. That’s IT! I scooper her up, You are going in time out now!!! I plop her down, and say O, you are in time out because you did listen to mommy and put your toys away. HYSTERICAL cries! I set the timer for 1 minute. And I wait…. More cries and whimpers… Then 1 minute later, I go to O, and she looks at me through the tears, and then smiles. O, are you sorry that you didn’t listen to mommy? She does her half nod, and gives me a hug. Then we go in her room, hand in hand. O, can you help me put your crayons in the bucket? And together we put the crayons in the bucket. And in my head, I am thinking….. VICTORY IS MINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!