At just two weeks shy of his 3rd birthday, Mini has finally broken in the Naughty Chair.
Before yesterday, Mini had never been in a time out or had to sit on the naughty chair, and only partially because we weren’t sure he was ready to grasp the concept of having to stay in one place for any length of time. Because the truth is that he hadn’t really earned the punishment yet. Everybody thinks their kids are perfect, but truthfully Mini’s a pretty good-natured kid, and is pretty interested in pleasing us.
Most of the time.
We made the mistake of letting him watch this Bionicle Lego movie thing the other day, and as it turns out there’s a lot of hitting in it. I think that might have been where we first went wrong. Because then, Mini runs over and hits me, and I’ll say, “Mini, you do NOT HIT. That’s so bad.” And then he’ll kiss me, right where he hit me. But then, he’ll do it again a few minutes later.
So, it’s time for consequences, apparently.
This afternoon he looked at me and slammed his hand down on my computer keyboard. He knows not to touch the computer, but I said, “Do NOT. TOUCH. THE. COMPUTER,” just for emphasis.
He slammed both hands down on the computer keyboard.
“No, Mama . . .”
“NAUGHTY CHAIR. NOW.”
“I don — “
So I make him sit there for a minute and then go over why he’s there, make him tell me what he did wrong, agree to not do it again. Then I ask for a hug and all that. You know, just like I learned from Supernanny.
But the best part is, after all this, Mini sits back down in The Naughty Chair, of his own accord.
“Buddy, you don’t have to sit in the Naughty Chair anymore. You’re done.”
“No, Mama, I not sitting in the Naughty Chair.”
“No, Buddy, you don’t have to, you already did it,”
“No, Mama, this is not the Naughty Chair.”
“What are you talking about, it’s not the Naughty Chair?”
“It’s NOT the Naughty Chair. It’s MY chair.”
“It’s your Naughty Chair, maybe.”
“No. It’s just my chair, Mama.”
He’s already learned how to neutralize punishment by reclaiming the terms of his oppressor. Can you imagine what it’s going to be like when he’s negotiating for time with the car?