Thursday, January 8, 2009

Time Out

Diana is experiencing that rare occurrence where all her various Wine Goddess balls in the air are crashing down on her head at the exact same time. And throwing in the Elijah ball was starting to make her teeter on the brink of insanity. I prefer a sane Diana, not a screaming at people on the street while wearing tinfoil on her head Diana.

So she asked me to take the day off work and tend to Eli duty on Tuesday. I was glad to. I was experiencing a lull before the storm of sports car advertising and was spending a lot of time pushing a toy Porsche around my office saying, “Vrooom vroom!”

I decided that my childcare would not include TV. We have a lot to thank the TV for. Eli's early adoption of the alphabet. His ability to count to 10. His desire to eat at Chili’s. But Di and I think he’s been spending too much time in front of the Tube of Boob. He asks for Elmo and Nemo and Jungle Book way too much for our liking.

So we went to the “Everybody Move” dance class, which was so hilarious it deserves its own blog entry. We also went to the church and played with Grover in the snow. We did some guitar playing. And by about 10:30am I was out of ideas.

I forced us both to sit in his room and play with his toys. Eli was not into it. He didn’t nap much and kept asking for TV.

“Ah Elmo? Ah Memo? Ah elpant?”

“No. No TV. Let’s play with this broken piece of plastic.”

Eli got grouchier and grouchier. I tried to distract him with the 100 wooden blocks Steve and Pam got him for Christmas. They have letters and numbers printed on them. So we played the game “What’s this say?”

As I was squinting to read a red “J,” Eli hucked a wooden block at me from two feet away. It struck me with a pointy corner a centimeter under my eyeball. I recoiled in pain.

He clearly didn’t do it on purpose. But it was hard to rationalize with rage coursing through my veins. So I did the only thing I could think of. I gave him a time out. I put him in his crib and went downstairs and watched the clock for two minutes.

Eli was not pleased. He howled in anger and tossed out all his toys and blankets like a prison inmate who lost yard privileges.

I have no idea if he understood that he got a time out because he nailed me with the block. But we got along a lot better after the two minutes. When I turned on “Jungle Book” and put an ice cube under my eye.

I recalled this story to my co-workers and brother and the general consensus is two fold:

1) No one can believe Eli waited 20 months to hit me in the eye with a block.
2) Just wait until the punching stage, which occurs at roughly age 12.

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