Today for lunch Mattie Claire had a ham and cheese samich (that’s sandwich for you people who don’t have kids). She wanted her “samich” and was excited to get in her highchair to eat. It took about five seconds for her to open up that sandwich and take it apart. OK, that’s fine, she’ll eat the meat, the cheese, and the bread separately. It all goes to the same place and doesn’t really have to get there at the same time. She also had some grapes and yogurt. Well, she played around with her “samich” makin’ material for a while and then it happened. [callout]I know that consistency is key to raising kids . . .[/callout]Pieces of meat hit the floor. “Mattie Claire, don’t throw your food on the floor.” I sat next to her and tried to distract with some bites of yogurt. It worked for a little while and she finally had enough of lunch time. She grabbed pieces of cheese and grapes (ABC grapes-already been chewed grapes) and threw two handfuls on the floor. “No, Mattie!” Two more handfuls on the floor. I calmly walked to the sink to get a “Mattie rag” to wipe her hands, took her out of her chair, and put that precious little 21 month old in the dreaded time out chair. “You’re in time out Mattie for throwing food on the floor.”
“What I do? What I do, Mama?” I was so glad that she couldn’t see my face because I was smiling from ear to ear when I heard that. After a minute of time out, I went to her and said, “Mattie Claire, why are you in time out?” Now since she is so little I usually go to her and say, “Mattie, you were in time out for . . . Please say you are sorry.” But this time I didn’t remind her why she was there and low and behold, she knew! “I throw food on the floor.” “That’s right. Tell Mama you are sorry.” After her apology I got a very messy kiss because in my hurry to get her to time out I didn’t wipe her mouth. Oooooo. I took it anyway. I won’t get those too often when she’s bigger.
Kids are smart. Mattie Claire knew exactly what she was doing when she threw food on the floor. She knew it was wrong, but did it to see what Mama would do. This age is an age of testing the limits. What can I get away with today? I know that consistency is key to raising kids, but in the Sweeney house every once in a while someone gets away with something. Too bad for MC that today wasn’t one of those times.