I Put My Baby in Timeout For the First Time Today

21 Mar

Every child is different. They each have their own strengths. Every child has their…personality traits…they need to work on.

I always say if Jackson were a color, he’d be neon green. I work so hard every single day to bring him back from a glow-in-the-dark and flashing color to something more of a primary green. He is intense from the second he wakes up to the second I force him to bed. I love him for it. He makes life interesting.

Abby is like a lovely, Spring lavender. She is easy and fun. Joy and cuddles and smiles from when she wakes grinning until the time she curls up in bed with her princess blanket at night.

Today was the very first day that my beautiful, easygoing darling got placed in time out.

She’s 3 and a half. We went through the “terrible twos,” which were a complete delight, and halfway through her “threes” before she got her first time out. Crazy.

By this age, Jackson had gotten so many timeouts I’d lost track. This is the boy that drew on my beige sofa with a black sharpie and unrolled all the toilet paper and pulled the dogs’ tails.

I knew the day would come that Abby would snap. You live with neon green for so long before you feel the need to put the smack down.

Abby and Jackson had been playing this morning. Normal tiffs but nothing out of the ordinary. I don’t know what caused it, but one second they were laying beside each other, watching TV, and the next, Jackson was screaming. The tears sprang from his eyes and he yelled, “She bit me!”

And I looked at Abby’s face. She was grinning ear to ear. She thought it was hilarious.

Jackson has a flair for the drama, so I pulled off his shirt to see if she had really bit him. Sure enough, there was a dime-size bite swelling. A bruise was already forming. Abby had not just bitten Jackson, she’d bitten the CRAP out of him. The tables had turned.

“Oh no, Abby! We don’t bite. You hurt Jackson,” I told her sternly. “What do you say to Jackson?”

“Thank you.” Abby said sweetly.

Dear Lord, I almost laughed out loud. Keep it together, Jess.

“No Abby. Jackson is hurt. When you hurt someone, what do you say?”

“Sorry!” She sang, still smiling.

“It hurts so bad, Mom,” said neon green, crying. “I need to take a bath to soak it.”

“Abby, it’s not funny. Tell Jackson you’re sorry like you mean it. You’re going in time out.” I said.

Sensing the seriousness, Abby began to cry and mumbled another sorry. I picked her up and took her into her room. Since she’d never had a time out, I’d never thought how to do it. So I put little lavender in her rocking chair and told her to to stay.

After checking on Jackson, who was “taking a breather” after the trauma, I went back to get Abby out of time out. She was crying so hard and doing that sad breathing, sobbing thing that just breaks your heart. I felt terrible, but the baby has to learn, too. No one ever said parenting was easy.

“Abby, it’s okay. We just don’t bite, because it hurts and it’s not nice,” I told her, wiping her tears and hugging her good. I wanted her to know it was okay and that it was over. I pulled back and looked at her.

“Snow White doesn’t bite,” she told me.

“You’re right, Abby,” I said.

“Mommy doesn’t bite and Daddy doesn’t bite,” she paused, those sweet little blue eyes looking at me. “And Sleeping Beauty doesn’t bite.”

God love her, she even makes time out a lovely place. “You’re right, Abs,” I said. “You’re so right.”

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