Saturday, March 22, 2008


Today was a big day. We went to see the Easter Bunny, which is always an event, but we also tried a new form of discipline.

Zozo has decided that her favorite thing to do, when alone with Mommy and Daddy, is to push Mommy and Daddy's buttons. Over and over again.

Her method of choice today involved two modes: hitting us, and kicking the seats in the car. Kicking the seats is a weekly favorite, but we really thought we had the hitting thing licked months ago. Today it came back. Multiple times. Along with the new twist of pulling Daddy's glasses off his face. Mommy got rid of that issue last October, but Daddy still offers a spectacle smorgasbord.

As I wrote about earlier, we've tried reasoning with her. "Zoe, if you keep doing that, you won't get cookies or fruit snacks after dinner." That's when she negotiated, admitting to no cookies and no fruit snacks, but asking instead for a cupcake. Then we went to "No desserts. Period." She took it in stride. Better yet, she shouted gleefully, "Kick seats! No desserts!" as she kicked.

Step two: raised voices. Today, for the first time ever, we actually yelled at her. Loud.

She took it in stride. Better yet, she laughed in our faces. And kept kicking.


M and I looked at each other. Shit. What do we do now? This was foreign territory for us. She's always been a good girl. Usually a stern "No!" suffices.

So we tried something we've never done before. We tried The Corner.

In the car on the way home from Sam's, I said, "That's it. When we get home, you're standing in the corner."

She spent the rest of the car ride saying, "Stand in the corner! Go home and stand in the corner! Stand...stand...stand in the corner!"

This wasn't going as planned.

When we got home, and after another round of seat-kicking, I pulled the coat tree out from the corner in the family room and stood her there. She looked at me quizzically and questioned, "Stand in the corner?"

"Yes," I commanded, "Put your nose in that corner."

She did as instructed, putting her little nose right in the corner.

Half of me wanted to laugh, she looked so tiny and ridiculous standing there in the corner.

The other half of me fought my breaking heart from scooping her up and cuddling her, she looked so tiny and ridiculous standing there in the corner.

I shot a look at M, and saw my mixed emotions mirrored on his face.

At the exact time I thought it, he whispered it: "Go get the camera."

I'm not sure how many parents photograph the disciplining of their children, but we do.

I made some images, and put the camera down. We continued unloading the car and kept an eye on her. Finally she turned around with one big tear tracing down her face and her lower lip trembling. "I'm sorry."

That's when my heart broke all the way. We picked her up and talked about what she had done wrong, and that if she is a good girl, she won't have to go in The Corner any more.

That lasted most of the evening, through dinner, until it was time to brush her teeth. She wanted to play while we wanted to brush, and when we tried to get her to sit still she pulled M's glasses off again.


M picked her up and headed for The Corner. She wailed on the way there this time, and then refused to stand up.

Fine. Sit then.

She sat quietly for a few moments, then sent up another wail.

I'm not sure how effective this will be as a long-term method of discipline, but it seems to be working so far. It at least has an immediate effect on her.

And on us, for whatever frustration and anger we're feeling when she misbehaves melts as soon as we see her standing in the corner.

I'll post the Easter Bunny image later. It's a good one, but not nearly as funny as these.


Blogger csango said...

That breaks my heart! She's soooooo

Tell her that when she comes to Grammy's house she can do whatever she wants and won't have to stand/sit in the corner no matter what!

Thats what grandparents are for. We only see the good....never the bad!

Hang in there, guys have college educations and going for your masters! Zoe hasn't even started pre-school yet!!!!

Love and good luck buddy!

12:31 AM  

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