Yesterday John and I got on a Get Things Done Today mode. We told the girls that they needed to find something to do to stay out of the way and to get along. The tattling and bickering has been at an all-time high. They played outside together for about 45 minutes, but then came inside. Sitting on the same couch cushion (you’d think they’d give each other some space), they alternately giggled, screamed, hit, laughed, kicked, and stole books from one another. After about the 30th time of hearing them shriek at the top of their lungs (and I had my ipod on, so the shrieking was very shrill), I stomped into the living room to Lay Down the Law.
“You sit here [directing Little Miss G to the other couch]. You stay there [telling Super L to stay put]. Don’t either of you move! You sit there and look at your books, and I don’t want to hear a peep out of either one of you for at least 5 minutes.”
Then I went back to decluttering my bedroom and my ipod. Peace. At last. More peace. Nothing like sweet productivity that I can actually see, something with tangible results.
Some time later I needed to go into the living room, and there were my two girls. I had totally forgot to let them out of their time out. I had said five minutes (which isn’t too long for a 6 year old like LMG, but is very long for a 2 year old like SL), but it had been more like a half hour. Libby had very quietly gotten up out of her seat, so I corrected her by making her sit back down, leaving the room for about 45 seconds, and then letting them both out of time out.
It’s a great, great thing when kids don’t have a concept of a length of time. Did I tell them they did overtime? No way! I’m just trying to figure out how to stretch five minutes into a half hour for myself.