We Don't Negotiate With Terrorists

Tuesday night there was a one hour standoff in our home between Mac, my husband and I.  I believe it signalled the official arrival of the "terrible two's".

Mac has developped the habit of hitting the dog when he's angry. It's awful and we've been trying to put a stop to it. He's also started throwing toys. This one is a hard one to discipline because we play fetch with the dog so I think that it's mostly confusion over when it's appropriate to try to play fetch. But I digress...

After supper on Tuesday Mac threw a toy and hit the dog. I grabbed him, gave his hand a little slap and told him that he was giving Hemi "Bobos" and that he had to apologize. It took about a minute of prompting to finally get him to say "sorry" but he did. Grudgingly, but he did.

Not three minutes later he walked up to Harry who was sitting on the couch and rifled a toy right at him. Harry grabbed him, slapped his hand and told him no. He said that Mac had given him a bobo and that it wasn't nice to throw and that Mac had to say sorry. No dice. Mac wasn't saying anything, he was just standing there glaring at Harry. He tried to walk away so Harry decided to give him a "time out" until he apologised. Time out started and Mac just sat there for a moment then tried to stand up (this was his first time out ever and he didn't quite understand what was going on). Harry calmly sat him back down and told him he could go play once he said sorry to daddy.

For a couple minutes Mac tried to turn it into a game but Harry wasn't having any of it. After about ten minutes Mac decided that it wasn't fun anymore and started crying big crocodile tears. Then the snot started. And the sobbing. And finally he held his arms up to ME and started crying "mama... mama! UP!!!" So I calmly sat next to him and explained that daddy and I loved him and we needed him to say sorry for the bobo. Nope nothing. In fact, he made dragon face at me. He was the picture of defiance. It got to the point where I told him he could either apologize to Harry or go do dodo (go to bed).  He looked me square in the eye and at 20 months of age he called my bluff and said "dodo".

So Harry and I took him downstairs to his bedroom and I put him in bed. I removed all his toys from the crib and left the blinds open and told him that he could come out when he said sorry to dad and walked out, shutting the door behind me. Enter the water works. Every couple minutes or so he would call out for either myself or Harry and once we came in he would tell us he was "all done" and we reinforced that he would be all done when he said sorry. Since we were sitting on the couch just outside his bedroom we could hear everything and it was hard not to laugh when after 45 minutes had passed he was yelling "No!! NO!! NOO!!  ALL DONE!!" from inside his bedroom.  After an hour he finally capitulated and apologized.

I'm thinking of having the policy "No negotiating with terrorists" written on the wall of the living room  to remind me to stick to my guns in the upcoming years because as it turns out, my kid takes after me. Somewhere, my mom is laughing and rubbing her hands together.


janelle said…
wow danielle - you guys rock. this is like an excerpt from supernanny (the good part - after the parents get it together). <3 you.
Danielle said…
That's funny because that's where I learned how to do time outs properly. Well, that and "dare to discipline" by dr Dobson. Now I just have to read his book on "the Strong Willed Child".

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