I tried something new today with Jackson. I told him that if he got on the computer again, than I would throw away one of his breakfast bars, which he may love more than me. Of course as I came back around the corner, he was up on the computer doing his best to break it permanently.
So I went to the pantry took out a breakfast bar, showed him, opened it, and broke it up in the garbage. (I had to break it up, otherwise he would go dumpster diving) On the scale of meltdowns he hit about a 9. I sent him to the other room until he was able to calm down.
Honestly I didn't like how it felt. I felt as if I was rubbing a dogs nose in a urine spot, and I don’t think I’ll do it again. Then Glenn confirmed that it was probably to much as he went to console his brother.
“It’s OK Jackson, I’m right here…take a deep breath.” Once he felt as if his brother was OK he walked straight over to me.
“Dad, you need to be nice to Jackson. He is little and you need to be more patient with him.” There is nothing better than getting parenting advice from a 4 year old. I thanked him for his feedback and told him that I felt I did the right thing.
“No Dad, you used bad words, and that isn't nice. Don’t be mean to Jackson.” Jesus the kid doesn't let up does he?
“OK Glenn…I get it, I’ll tell him I’m sorry. Also watch your tone when you provide such criticism, but thanks for sharing anyway.” I love that Glenn feels comfortable enough to critique my performance, just not when I am angry.
Oh well back to the timeouts then…
I have written about Action Jackson and Jackson the Destroyer in the past. Needless to say this kid challenges me, in ways that Glenn never did. He has taken some steps forward and a few more back since he officially joined the ranks of the terrible twos.
On the one hand he has gotten big enough to start time outs. One minute for every year old he is. Since those began, I have seen a marked decrease in some of his more annoying habits. The cable box, the dog bowl, and the kitchen cabinets are all limits that he now understands.
Unfortunately he has become 100 % more mobile. Shortly after his birthday, he mastered the art of the stool. He knows where they are, what they are for, and items that can be used in place of a stool. Think of him teetering on a toy for an extra foot of height. As such, there is nowhere…NO WHERE…that is no safe from the grabby hands of Jackson the Destroyer.
So we do a lot of timeouts. When Glenn was getting timeouts more frequently I always said that after the third timeout he got a spanking. With Jackson that isn't even possible. The kid usually clears three timeouts before I can even get his diaper changed in the morning.
If he gets out of timeout, than it starts over. The kid has Tammi’s family stubbornness, so he often will immediately go back to whatever he got the timeout in the first place, as soon as he is released.
It is not uncommon for me to have ten minutes to myself, two minutes at a time. So with that in mind here are the best ways for you to occupy yourself, while your demon spawn of a toddler spends the morning in timeout.
#5 Dishes- It’s not sexy or exciting, but it’s also not often that you are able to empty the dishwasher without Mr. McGrabby pants climbing in. This is a good opportunity to get shit done, without taking away from play time.
#4 Take deep breaths- lots of them. Find your happy place and go there quickly.
#3 Sweep- Again not sexy, but when was the last time you were able to clean the floor, without a toddler holding the dustpan or walking through the pile.
#2 Nothing- Maybe this should be number one, but my priorities are different. Regardless, there is nothing better than doing absolutely nothing. That is nothing better except….
#1 Eat- Without being bothered, it is pure bliss. No sharing, no tiny hands reaching up at you, pecking away at your well-deserved respite. Pure chaos may be reigning down in the other room, but you’re at peace in the kitchen eating your pretzels.
Crap…Jackson is pulling out all of the DVD’s from the self.(AGAIN) Let me go check with Glenn to see what he would like me to do.