Time Out At My House

There’s very a strict boys-don’t-hit-girls rule at our house. The girls know that if they egg #5 on just to try and make him hit so that he violates the rule, they’ll get punished too.

We were in the kitchen talking about which girls at school like #5 and which girls he likes back. Apparently we picked the right one (psst… it’s Iris), because he suddenly overreacted and kicked #3 in the back of the knee, hard. I sent him to his room.

Here’s the thing about sending this kid to his room. I always forget he’s in there.

Every. Damn. Time.

I’ll send him to his room and go along about my business and start feeling really smug and productive, entirely forgetting that the productivity is solely due to not getting interrupted every ten seconds- because I sent #5 to his room. I get so productive that I lose track of time. At some point, but usually not until at least forty minutes into it, I wonder where he is.

So last week when he kicked his sister, I sent him to his room, laughed with #3 about how he actually does like Iris no matter what he says, finished making dinner, got dressed, even put on makeup (which really should have been my first clue that something was amiss because there’s never time for that), packed my bag for work and went out to the car to work on my late Easter present for the kids. More about the gift in a minute.

I had something for #5 and went to get him. He was not in the music room. Not playing video games or watching TV. Not reading on my bed.

Me: Where did he go?

#2: You sent him to his room.

Me: Oh crap! I totally forgot.

#2: Wasn’t that like, an hour ago?

Me: Ummm. . .

#2 and #4, in unison: Parenting Fail!

So I went in to #5’s room and we talked about why he got sent there in the first place. We don’t want him to ever be a man who hits a woman, hence the rule. He gets it, and knows why it’s important. He still doesn’t believe that one day he’s going to be bigger than all his sisters.

I did not own up to the fact that I had forgotten him. He can work that out in therapy later when he figures it out. Then I showed him why I was looking for him, what I had saved. And I took him outside and let him put the last one on the car.

One what, you ask?

In Kristin Lamb’s excellent book Are You There Blog? It’s Me, Writer she talks a bit about privacy and mentions that she doesn’t like the little stick people that you put on the minivan because it tells robbers exactly how many people they’re going to have to subdue when they break in, plus a hamburger full of sleeping pills for the dog. She’s totally right. There’s even an episode of Dexter where the predator gets his prey that way.

My message to robbers here is clear:

We are an entire army of the goddamn undead. Don’t even try it.

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Is this going to hurt my chances at becoming class mom? What parenting or other fails have you had recently?