(Updated to add photo)
The punishment, for most infractions in the House of Fiddle, would be a “time-out.” Which honestly, the whole “time-out” is more for the parent’s fragile state of mind (mine), than for the misbehaving child.Emme was easy. We only had to threaten her with time-out, and she would fold like a deck of cards. Cailey came along, and she was a harder sell. She grew to dislike time-out, mostly because she was deprived of a sibling to torture while trapped in her room. All alone.
Then Jensen made his entrance. He has made me rethink the whole “no spanking rule.” Every Single Day. Jensen, who just turned 3, is the size of a smallish 5 year old. He still sleeps in a crib. His time-out takes place in his crib. Otherwise known as prison.
He has no idea that he not only possesses the capability of climbing out of his cell, but that he could also disassemble it and fashion it into a bomb.
He was sentenced to time-out for repeatedly swiping Cailey’s favorite doll, running from her, sliding on his belly (risking carpet burn), to shove her doll underneath the TV armoire. As far as he could reach. Just to torture her.
I’ve often told Cailey that she needs to seriously make friends with her little brother. Because there will come a day when he can totally take her down. That day is upon us, my friends.
So, I placed him in his jail cell, and went back to the kitchen to set the timer to 3 minutes. The defendant is sentenced to one minute per year they’ve been alive. Sometimes I take into account life expectancy, and add on time. Especially if I’ve forgotten to set the timer. And Oprah is on. Or I have a headache. Just sayin’.
I turned back to my kitchen duties. And then out of the corner of my eye, I saw young Jensen head down the hall. Aiming for the family room. He had a definite swagger to his gait. As he passed the kitchen he announced, “TIME OUT ALL GONE.”
Dang it all to heck. He scaled the prison wall.
Fiddledaddy came in a little while later, and was recounting a work issue, or somethingorother. I stopped him with raised hand, “Forget it, we have bigger fish to fry.” And I went on to tell him about how his son finally figured out how to climb out of his crib. At first, I thought I saw fear in his eyes. Which gave way to pride. His boy.
As Fiddledaddy was rocking his little Rambo to sleep, Jensen began bragging about his newfound skills. Visions of a midnight jail break danced through his father’s head. Yet more lost sleep.
The warden and I rummaged through the garage to find the crib net that Trish bequeathed to us after her youngest boy had grown into a big boy bed. We assembled it onto Jensen’s crib and began the arduous job of soft selling it as his new “car bed.” I’m unsure if he actually bought it, or was just too exhausted to fight.
Personally, I think he is biding his time, and is just trying to figure out how to disassemble this new net thingy and build some sort of trap for his unsuspecting sister.
Because they are, after all, cut from the same day-glo orange jump suit kind of cloth.
I’m pretty sure that this story will continue. But, I’m placing myself in a much needed “time out.” And at my age, the time to be served could be considerable.
Cell Block #3