Yesterday after we returned home from school, Spencer approached me as I was sitting on the floor and asked "want to go to time out?" Sigh. "No, Spencer. You're a good boy. We can play together now. You don't have to go to time out." Then he repeated his request, "want to go to time out?" after which he took a few steps closer and smacked me a few times on the leg!!! What the hell, Spencer?? I just stared back in disbelief and disappointment. "Now go to time out?" he asked. Still stunned, I just pointed my finger as he marched off to designated spot, turned around, and sat down.
I can't help but feel like these issues we are experiencing with time out are completely bizaare!
So, what happened next? While he was in time out I thought back to a conversation from 24 hours earlier with my mommy friends at our monthly dinner out. I was venting that this week has been a bit more of a struggle with Jim traveling, as I have to divide time after work/school between playing and getting dinner ready. One mommy to four little ones responded quickly, "have him help you make dinner." Hmm. I love cooking, and fully planned to raise Spencer to be comfortable in the kitchen, but so far his involvment has been limited to playing with dough scraps. I just didn't think he was old enough yet. But in an effort to avoid any more time outs for the evening, I decided he had suddenly reached the proper age to assist.
When time out was over (and after an apology and a hug and a kiss) we went to the kitchen together. I asked Spencer if he could help me make dinner and he immediately seemed interested. With time being short, I decided the menu would include salmon croquettes. He was a champ at cracking the egg, mixed like a pro, and scooped matzoh meal from the canister into the bowl. And he was having a blast - grinning hugely and oh so visibly proud. Especially when it came time to shape the sticky mixture with his hands! I held him up to watch them cook in the pan, and he ate the final product with much delight (ok, so that's not a deviation from the norm!)