The Irony of Time Out

My children love irony.

Sure, they don’t know what it means, but they love to exploit it already.

In a tale as old as.. well, since my daughter learned to crawl, irony reared its… uh… ironic head during its favorite moment: Time Out.

Yes, Time Out, the classic politically correct punishment for toddlers. It used to sort of work as a punishment.

Then my daughter learned to crawl.

Now Time Out twists with the aforementioned irony, and instead turns into Sweet Sibling Moments.

And I cannot resist.

Take this photo from last August, after my son endured the millionth Time Out for the activity inspiring his nickname – tackling his sister.

Fast forward through nine months of continued shenanigans like this, and it brings us to today’s:

Belly Button Hide & Seek

The Tackler was once again in a Time Out, so his sister just had to come and comfort him.

Suddenly, Lil Diva is inspired. She lifts The Tackler’s shirt…

The Tackler laughs…He goes for her belly button..

She declares this hysterical.

She must return the favor again and seek his belly button…

And so on and so on…

Is it any wonder Time out doesn’t work, with me more likely to grab my camera to capture the moments, rather than focus on the punishment – something nigh impossible with Lil Diva orbiting her brother every time?

When this occurs, I try to redirect his behavior to positive encounters with her.

Some of my favorite moments.

So sue me.


About Kelly K @ Dances with Chaos

Kelly K has learned the five steps to surviving of motherhood: 1) Don't get mad. Grab your camera. 2) Take a photograph. 3) Blog about it. 4) Laugh. 5) Repeat. She shares these tales at Dances with Chaos in order to preserve what tiny amount of sanity remains. You can also find her on her sister blog, Writing with Chaos ( sharing memoir and engaging in her true love: fiction writing. It's cheaper than therapy.
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21 Responses to The Irony of Time Out

  1. Great pics. Thank God for timeouts or you would missed that photo op.

  2. Bellymonster says:

    These photos are incredible! I love you for grabbing your camera and preserving such fun. You should hang these in the Time Out corner.

  3. John says:

    Absolutely gorgeous pictures.

    My daughter (about 8 months younger than Lil Diva) is getting into an “I don’t want to nap” phase, which is truly spectacular. My son (18 months old) is all snotty from allergies & a cold & teething . . . this past weekend, he was napping on me, she was crawling around. At some point she decided he needed to wake up to play with her. She did NOT appreciate me not allowing her to poke/prod/crawl-on him.

    • Yes, I can see how he would have found that very irritating.

      Have hope – your daughter is also probably teething and that always messes up naps. Try to put a routine into play you do every day to inform her body it is nap time – it is crazy how much it helps.

      Good luck.

  4. I love irony (I even know what it means) and I LOVE these pictures.

    I’d be tempted to put my son in time out all the time just to watch him enjoy time with his sister THIS. MUCH.

    I think he’s learning something. Discipline is overrated.

    Yep. Giggling is the best deterrent to undesirable behavior.
    or something like that…

  5. mypajamadays says:

    I was laughing out loud! Those pictures are awesome. I think I would have done the same thing. The Tortoise used to sit in time out on a bar stool so that The Hare couldn’t reach her, but then I spent most of my time worrying that The Tortoise might fall off the stool!

    – Emily

    • My son sitting in Time Out screams “Play with me” to Lil Diva – it always has. She wants to sit on his lap, hug him if he’s crying, or tackle him when he lays down. When I tear her away, she gets mad – and then I have two screaming children. 90% of the time she cheers him up and these sweet moments evolve (this 90% is because he did something to her to receive the Time Out to begin with). The other 10% the Time Out had nothing to do with her, and he just gets madder and shoves her away when she tries to hug him….

      Yeah. that’s not fun.

      I couldn’t help laughing at them either – they were just having so much fun with their game.

      Thanks for stopping by, Emily. 🙂

  6. Paige Morgan says:

    I love the fact that you don’t sacrifice the bonding time. If the time-out stopped the bad behavior and got him instead playing well with his sister, then I think you declare victory!

    Time outs should be reserved for mommy’s! 😉

  7. Found you and am following on Twitter. No, the timeouts aren’t textbook. Regardless, you are the parent and they are YOUR children. There’s no reason for others to judge. By the way, the pictures are adorable. 🙂

    Best wishes,

    twitter: @claylauren2001

  8. These pictures are perfect!!
    I wouldn’t be able to enforce the punishment either.

  9. Jessica says:

    Oh, now that is so stinkin’ cute. Big brothers and little sisters are the best. Great pictures! Yay, camera!

  10. Jessica says:

    This is adorable. How could you stay mad and continue with the timeout when they are having so much fun together.

  11. Carrie says:

    Hilarious! Time outs don’t work for my oldest since whenever she gets sent to one her sister immediately goes to “comfort” her which usually results in her getting even MORE angry and yelling at her sister to “get lost”. Doors are slammed, chaos ensues.

    I wish I got tickle-fests 🙂

  12. Absolutely Brilliant 🙂 !!!!

  13. Kir says:

    oh my goodness, SO CUTE. WOW. I could hear those giggles!

  14. Oh, this makes me way worse of a mom than you.

    I take pics of my kids crying in Time Out.

    Especially when it’s really dramatic crying. 😉

  15. Pingback: An illustration of irony | Witness This

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