This post could also be called "The Night of 4 Timeouts within 1 Hour". EEEK. Our evening started out very pleasantly - I caught up with my girlfriends on our walk and Ella got to chat with her buddy Dominic as we got some exercise and fresh air. We came home and had about 10 minutes before Steve was finished cooking dinner, so of course Ella had to get back to playing with her new kitchen (which she is pretty much obsessed with). When it was time for dinner, I said "alright Ella, dinner time" to which she loudly yelled "NO" with a big smile...I said "Ella, it's dinner, I need you to come get in your chair." Repeat the NO from said little girl. Then I resorted to my "Ella, I am going to count to 3. If you are not here by the time I get to 3, you will have a timeout." Now, previously, this has been quite effective. Her eyes get big when I start counting and she hustles on over. Not tonight. She turned her back on me and went back to playing in her kitchen. So...bring on Timeout #1.
Timeout #1 turned into Timeout #2 as she talked and walked around midway through the first timeout. We successfully got through a 90-second timeout and had a very peaceful and nice dinner.
Bath time...as usual, Ella loves her some bathtime, and did not want to get out. I gave her a 2 minute warning, and we sang a song 3 times in a row. After the last time, I said it was time to get out - which was greeted with a loud laughing "NO"...ehhh, not again. Repeat same process as paragraph 1, except this time I am in a dilemma because she is naked and I do not want to take the time to get her dressed first because by then she'll forget what the timeout is all about. So, I pull her out dripping wet and she gets a timeout in her room, in her birthday suit. After it's over she gives me a hug and says the requisite 'sorry' (pronounced dough-y, or something similar), and then I tell her it's time to get jammies on so she needs to come get dressed. At this point the little nakey runs laughing out into the computer room where Steve is...apparently that timeout had a major effect.
Same procedure in the computer room to get her back into her room to get dressed, leading to timeout #4...another naked timeout in her room. Except, this time, I closed the door and stood in the hallway. I've only done that once before but she seemed truly sorry after (sidenote: that time, she had pretty much mauled my face with her hands which thankfully was the first and only time for that). She started crying after about 10seconds and I feel so bad with her crying, but really, she is completely safe, I am on the other side of the door, and she's crying because she does not want to be separated from me, which truly is the point of a time out. It still felt like torture though and I don't think it was more than 40 seconds. BUT, when I went in, she stood up and gave me a hug right away, said dough-y, and I said "okay it's time to get dressed" and she ran right over to her changing table and held her hands up to get put up there. Remainder of evening (all 20 minutes of it, ha!) went smooth as pie :).
I know that it's all about consistency but PHHHHEW...I see why it's easier to ignore this stuff than deal with it!
Lest you think this little girl is all snakes and snails and puppy dog tails, I will leave you with some parting pre-Halloween cheer :)