Family Matters, Little O' This, My Girl


Avelyn has taken to dumping whole bowls of soup on the floor at lunch time.  She knows this is unacceptable and is just being a little turd about it.  Last weekend she sent an entire bowl of chili plummeting to the already-caked-with-last-week’s-droppings floor below and I yanked her from her high chair, pointed to the splatter of red at my feet and said, “We don’t throw food.  You need to have a time out in your room.”

I placed her in her crib and set the timer for two minutes.  After the the seconds had ticked by, marked by her angry wailing, I went into her room and she collected her snivelling self and said, “Out?”

I said, “Mommy will take you out of your crib when you say sorry.  Can you say sorry, Avelyn?”

She locked eyes with me, jutted out her bottom teeth in an angry underbite and grunted, “No.”

Oooo, that kid!  I thought she was a little young to understand the concept of apologizing, but obviously not.  It was clear she understood that she was supposed to say sorry, to express some remorse and realize that I am the boss, but she didn’t want to.

I explained, “Mommy will come back when you’re ready to say sorry.”  Then I closed the door and left, set the timer for one minute and came back to try again.  After her screaming abated I calmly asked if she was ready to say sorry and again she pulled out the underbite and said, “No.”

Again, I left.  I came back, and left, and came back a total of seven times.  SEVEN.  I knew I had to win this war of the wills or it would come back to haunt me.  After the seventh try she finally caved and grumbled, “Forry.”  I took her out of her crib and she hasn’t dropped a bowl of food on the floor since.

This kid if giving me a run for my money, to say the least.  I told my mom about this incident and she gasped, “Even you were never that bad at such an early age!”  Great.  Just what I was longing to hear.

The whole scenario reminded me of a time, many moons ago, when my little brother had done something mean to me and my parents made him stay in his room until he was ready to say sorry to me.  It took him hours to finally muster the humility to apologize and when he did, he sauntered up to me and huffed, “SOR,”  as though he wasn’t going to fully acknowledge his transgression with that final syllable.  Little turd.  It runs in the family, I guess.


  • I’m totally struggling with my 2 year old right now too. It’s amazing how willfull and manipulative they can be at just 2 years old. My problem is that rather than cry and scream when she has time out, she just sits there like, “whatever mom, is this what you call punishment? No big deal.” Doesn’t cry or whine or anything. In fact, she’s sat there patiently for around 10 minutes before. Then when it’s time to say sorry she won’t actually look at me and kind of has a “whatever sorry” attitude. I thought this behavior was for teenagers!! AAAAHHHHH!!!!
    Good for you for sticking it out and winning the battle! Hurray for no more messes!! :)

  • Girrrrrrrl, I hear ya! My little almost 2 year old is fiesty, to say the least. Her brother? NEVER. Her? Total drama queen who thinks when she doesn’t get her way she can hit. I mean, her brother 22 months older never hit and still doesn’t. Time outs are my new best friend. Seriously. Like Avelyn, she responds but not until she has put up a good fight.

  • Oh yeah, those are good times. Hunter’s a little too quick to apologize to his sister, these days. I think we need to tink of something else…

  • Oh yes … we have had those nights too. The bottom step is Little ‘Ny’s time out spot. I recall the last time we had an episode like you described I sent her to her step. She sat there sobbing. I told her when you are ready to sit at the table and eat your dinner nicely you can come out of time out. A minute later she came around the corner with her head hung down, grabbed on to my leg and mumbled “I’m sorry. I love you, Mom.” My heart just melt. Sure enough she sat at the table and finished her entire dinner without another misbehaving. That was over a month ago. Have faith … this too shall pass.

  • You must have done something right!!! Poor mommy, dealing with the little turkey! I have to say it was a cute story to read though, coming from someone without any kids! Hahaha…

  • There is the evidence, she gets it from her uncle! Haha!
    Good luck with that, Jaia is in the smae stage.
    We should hit up the park some time next week, e-mail me what works for you guys.

  • Good job on sticking it out! I know some parents would give in after maybe the 6th time or so.
    Way to go!! Woo! :)

  • Nice going! What great parenting :)
    I’m not a parent, but I am SO not looking forward to those times when my child, who I will be hopelessly in love with, tests my patience. I can only hope to be as smart and patient as you.
    Re-reading this comment I realize I am coming off kind of sarcastic, but rest assured, I am not….I mean every word!

  • I watched SuperNanny last night, and you employed her tactics to a T! Jo would be proud! It’s amazing the concepts little ones can understand!

  • Oh, the battles, hey?

    You are a good Momma. You see that strong will, and show her that yours is stronger ;)

    See you in a bit!

  • I so feel for you. Sounds like you did a great job sticking it out. The last thing you want to be is a mom who lets her kids rule(like so many on Supernanny). There will be many more of these battles, just know you can do it no matter how long it takes!!

  • hahaha – i watched supernanny last night, too – it was totally “supernanny” style time out – very good! i agree w/ heidi too, the last thing you’ll want is to become like mom like they have on that show… and you’re off to a great start very early on so i can’t see you becoming like those mothers (on the show)

  • I hate to burst your bubble, but Avelyn has pulled off a ploy comparable to her uncle’s strategem. As I recall, little Steve resisted giving his apology for an extended time, before muttering what to his exhausted parents sounded close enough to repentance. When we were praising him for being such a good boy and finally saying the “s” word to his sister, he crowed, “I never said ‘sorry’; I said ‘sorr'”. I am still amazed at the calculating deviousness a two-year old can command.

    Avelyn is sitting there smugly watching Curious George and thinking to herself, “You know, Mummy, I never said ‘sorry’; I said ‘forry'”.

  • Ok, I’ve been having the food on the floor problem since Jack started eating solids… and because he’s been so skinny I just can’t do the “no dinner for you” business. So this is great. I’m definitely trying it for sure… and can’t believe I haven’t yet. Probably because I’m lazy and it would mean me cleaning him up (partially) for time-out then the whole time-out process. Anyway, I’m doing it!

  • Way to stick to your guns! My daughter recently turned two and we are doing timeout. I put her in a corner in our dining room and she actually stays there, but her attitude doesn’t always get better after a timeout. I feel like some days are spent in timeouts all day long.

  • Good for you Amanda. Way to stay strong under pressure. As for not being as bad that young, all children will test boundaries and I hate to say that it won’t stop there. I have been told that consistancy is key and to follow through. You obviously did both here. Great job.

  • Dearest Amanda,

    I would not be overly concerned about this little episode if I were you. In fact, I am almost tempted to categorize it as somewhat of a good omen. I mean, look at what kind of charming young man your brother turned out to become… yiiiissssss.

  • Triumph! Gotta make sure they know who is boss!
    I had a similar showdown the first time Dora ever threw a tantrum. She never even attempted a tantrum again. It was amazing.
    Didn’t work for Grace though. She has turd tendencies, big time.
    Keep up the good, disciplinarian, work.

  • Love your stories Amanda! I have a little one on the way too! Brad and I are pretty pumped!

  • I love your stories too! It’s awful to say, but reading stories about “naughty” kid moments is a bit heart-warming…Hudson has quite the temper too…and it’s nice to know I’m not alone!

  • I read this entry and wanted to clench my fist and do a 3 pump hockey move while exclaiming, “YESSSSSSSSSS.” This reminds me so much of my work with kids and the importance of being consistent. Way to NOT give in! She’ll thank you one day…. ;)

  • Good for you! Reminds me of me when I was little… hope my kids aren’t payback!

  • Oh the horror. I have had sooo many battles of the will with my son on the saying sorry thing. That kid would rather spend his life in time out then ever say sorry. sigh

  • my two year old is into biting… stay strong, sounds like you’re doing GREAT. Honestly. “Mommy never loses” is the slogan in these here parts!

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