So it’s come to this. All of my decisions and life experiences, which I thought were involved in making me into a rational and capable human being, have led me to this moment in time. I just gave a time-out to a camel puppet.
To be fair, the camel puppet was acting like a jerk. The camel puppet pushed Ruby into her closet and held the door shut so that she could not get out. Ruby, being trapped in the dark closet, mistakenly though that her three year old brother Edward was the one who had done this naughty deed, but this was cleared up when I asked Edward about the incident and he informed me that the camel puppet was actually the guilty party.
Now, to give you a little backstory, Edward is always trying to get into his sister’s closet. It is the one place in the house that is forbidden to him, so naturally it is the most appealing place in the universe. And if he can’t get in there himself, he can make darn sure that his sister is not going to have a good time using it either. So every time she goes into her closet for any reason, he will run up and slam the door on her, or try and squeeze past her and get in himself, or just generally be a nuisance, which drives her crazy and causes me to have to go upstairs and give Edward a time-out. But not this time.
This time I was sick of it. Giving Edward time-outs was not working. So I yanked the damn puppet off of his hand and snapped “Camel is in time-out!” and threw the camel on top of the high DVD towers. Well, this got his attention. I don’t know when in the last week Edward decided that the camel puppet was his favorite toy, but he did, and I took it away. Ha ha. That’s what happens when toys are naughty.
Except then the camel puppet had to come out of time-out, which I had not considered when putting it in. You see, we have a very specific routine for coming out of a time-out, and Edward was watching very closely to see what was going to happen to his new best felt friend. So I put the puppet on my hand and started the interrogation.
“Camel, do you know why you were in time out?” The camel nodded his head vigorously.
“Ok, why were you in time out?” The camel shrugged and looked sad.
“Camel, you were in time out because you pushed Ruby and locked her in her closet. That is not okay. Do you know why that is not okay?” Camel puppet shook his head.
“It’s not okay because pushing hurts people, and we need to respect other people. When they ask us not to touch them, or not to do something to them, we need to not do it. Do you understand?” The camel nodded, finally coming around.
“Good. Are you going to do it again?” Camel puppet shook his head back and forth as hard as he could.
“Good, because if you do do it again, you are going to get another, much longer time-out, and you will not be able to play with Edward for a long, long time. Got it?” The camel nodded his head and went back over to see Edward.
“Okay Edward, Camel is out of time-out, but I need you to make sure that he doesn’t do anything naughty again, okay? Or he will get in big trouble and have to go in time-out again and you won’t be able to play with him, okay?”
And you know, honestly, the camel puppet has been much better behaved since then, so maybe it worked. I mean, Edward is still tormenting his sister, but at least the camel has learned its lesson. And maybe, if Edward hangs around with the camel puppet enough, it might be a good influence on him. Or maybe I have lost my mind. It’s very hard to tell these days. Is summer over yet?