As I begin to write this post, it is a quarter to 8 p.m. Melody has been in her time-out chair since about 5:30.
Melody, shortly before Jay got home, tore apart two of the three remaining roses on my Sterling Silver bush. They had just begun to open yesterday, and the scent was reminding me of the roses Jay bought me the month we were engaged.
I put her on a long time-out, and when she finally asked to get down I said she could, but that she’d probably have to get back up when Daddy got home. This was something I didn’t really know how best to handle. I began to realize (however meaningless) I wanted an apology. I wanted Melody to say, “Sorry Mama,” for tearing my flowers apart.
I wanted it for me, and I felt there aught to be some kind of responsibility on her part, too, since there’s no way she could fix it.
After prompting her (with no response), I waited until Jay got home to broach the subject again. One of us, I don’t remember who, decided Melody should sit at time-out until she said Sorry. With this blatant set-up she couldn’t ignore the requirement. That was about 5:30.
For a while she sat there like she didn’t care, then Jay and Natasha had dinner in front of her (the time-out chair is one of the dinner chairs, after all), and then I did (after putting Elisha to sleep). With me in the room, she started getting down and coming over to hold my hand. I continued to prompt her, and she was very snuggly and acting contrite, but as soon as it came down to speaking or sitting, she clammed-up. Until she was hauled back to her chair.
She’s still complaining now, but that may be because we’ve “changed” the rules again. She can’t come over to tell me any more. I’m sitting at the table next to her, and now she can’t even get out of her chair. When she tries I put her back and say she can tell me from there.
I figure it’s a contest by now, and figuring 50/50 chances that she passes out (falls asleep) before she gives in, but I’ve got my work here in front of me (I love this laptop) so I’ll last out with her to whatever end. Since I’m not hooked to the internet from here I’ll be recording the ending-time (probably) before concluding the post, but with this starting between 5:30 and 6, the demonstration is still pretty impressive.
After nine I spoke with her and asked if she understood she was choosing to be in the chair. “It only takes one word to get down and have dinner and snuggles and everything. You must obey and say sorry.” Because by this point (believe me it had become a refrain by this point) the issue wasn’t the apology as much as obedience. She plain didn’t want to do it. When I had laid it out that clearly (again), Melody—dry-eyed—scooted full onto the seat and leaned back in the chair. And I went back to writing.
We still had to put her back a few times, but we’d both made up our minds. Nothing changed. At 9:45 she fell asleep, still on her chair.
Made a great picture.