1,2,3 Magic

Apparently I talk too much during time outs.

I should clarify that these aren’t my time outs (though lord knows I could probably use one or two). They are Cameron’s. You see, even though Cameron is the sweetest, smartest, most affectionate boy ever – sometimes he has a nasty temper. So, he gets a time out.

Have you ever read 1,2,3 Magic? It’s a childcare manual that my mom told me about. The whole magic is that when your child is bad, you give him 3 chances to straighten up and act right. On 3, if the kid continues with the bad behavior, they get a time out. The book’s author, Dr. Thomas Phelan, says that throughout this, you should be as calm and even-tempered as you can. That means no grabbing the kid and tossing him in the time out chair, no empty threats, and very little talking while the kid is in time out. No emotions from you. You are the adult.

I’m so bad at keeping my emotions out of it.

I was raised by parents who under no circumstances would have tolerated stuff like talking back or open defiance. In fact, I wouldn’t be here writing this if I’d have tried half the stuff Cam tries with me. So I get angry when he is angry and disrespectful with me. However, i know I have to get better at these situations. I was talking to a childcare expert Monday and she re-emphasized what I already know. I need to count to three, and if it turns out that he goes to time out, it needs to happen with as little fuss or drama as possible. I need to calmly let him know that his only option is to serve his time out. There shouldn’t be any bargaining or even explaining why at that point. If he is in time out screaming and carrying on, I’ll say stuff to him like “you aren’t getting up until you calm down.” But that’s a no-no.Talking happens later, when he is calmer and more receptive.

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Sick

Last week we were supposed to take the kids to see That Damned Rat (also known as Chuck E Cheese), but instead I was laid out on my parents’ couch, a feverish mess.

That’s what I get, I guess, for getting cocky about being the only family I knew who hadn’t been struck down by the flu. The kids didn’t get as sick as I was, but they did get high fevers and Grace got an ear infection.

What did i do while we were down and out? I played about 50 million games of solitaire on my phone and watched 2 million hours of Good Times and Golden Girls reruns. I also cried a few times (I don’t handle being sick very well). The kids are pretty much experts on any and all television shows aimed at entertaining preschoolers.

My parents, who took care of us, now have colds. Sorry, Pop Pop and Grandma.


Easter

Holidays come through here like a train out of control. There are always a million things to buy, the kids always get their hands on tons of candy, and I always volunteer to bring something to family dinner and then freak out about it.

It’s extra crazy around Christmas because, well, Christmas is crazy. Plus, Grace’s birthday is on New Years’ Day. This year, Cam’s birthday came the day after Easter.

The kids have been on a sugar high since last Wednesday when our play group had its Easter party. Throw in a new supply of candy plus a few new birthday gifts and it’s like Disney land around here: lots of fun and no naps.

I think we need a holiday detox. Maybe one of those green-stuff smoothies all my Facebook friends are always going on about.