Time-Out

Kyra (that’s my rather inspirational daughter, for you new readers) just tried to put me in the corner for no reason. As amusing as it was, I’d have felt better if I’d slipped up and said a bad word in front of her, or something. It raised questions for me, the way she did it. Now, I know she’s only three, but I would still hate  to think that she sees her punishments as unwarranted, in any way.

I asked her why she wanted me to go to the corner and she could produce no reason. I take pains to explain to her the behaviors inducing punishment, but now, I fear she doesn’t always understand. The attempt, itself, makes me wonder; does she think I go without punishment for my indiscretions? It also makes me wonder if she has no idea why she’s in time-out, when she’s put there. I’m pretty consistent, and I don’t fly off the handle, or punish her for normal kid stuff, like crying over nothing or goofing off. If she’s being blatantly mean or disrespectful and spiteful, or endangering herself, willfully, that’s an automatic time-out.

I may, in fact, be too ‘lenient’ (as has been suggested, by some old-school, spare the rod, spoil the child, types). I do teach my daughter respect, by treating her with it, as evidenced by her assumption that she has the equal authority to put me in an arbitrary time-out. Like I said, mostly it was funny, but it did cause some consternation, on my end.

It’s only natural, I suppose, to wonder if we’re doing it at all right. The only reason she might have been angry with me, was the fact that I wouldn’t let her go outside in the dark. Perhaps, she thought that mere anger is my inspiration to put her in the corner when she gets too fresh, and I guess that’s what’s really bothering me. If she thinks I’m unfair, it sucks, but it also means I must be doing something right. Right?

Oh, man, I hope so. I have to do right by this amazing little goofball. I can only hope she understands, one day. Probably, as she watches her own daughter pack up all of her toys, only to dump them on the floor, three feet away. Or, while she sits in awe of the obvious, crazy, gracious love for a daughter who “builds a spider”, by sticking crayons into every hole of her Wiffle ball, and packs all the fingers of one hand with alphabet fridge magnets, so she can “be a robot”.

Come to think of it…yeah…maybe I am doing okay at this whole (wonderful/silly/insane) ‘Mommy thing’.

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