Summer is winding down fast now, the sun sets noticibly earlier, the air is chilled in the early morning, the geese are sequestering for their move to Disney World and The Tribe is getting antsy for change. We've had a good summer, and I think the greatest thing for me is to watch The Tribe develope in their relationship towards each other. They get along fairly well, and we've crossed what seemed like the impossible bridge; the two boys are playing together. I think until recently they just assumed the only way to communicate was by fighting. Now, they seem to have their pecking order arranged, and they just play. On most days. They still all have their moments, and sometimes those moments last for hours. Last week we had one of those days. I was running out of discipline options, and was tired of refereeing, so, I decided they could just fend for themselves. One hour, on the couch. No talking, no drinks, no food, just sit. I set the timer and continued cleaning. At first Hyphen Girl sat in a harumph by herself on the ottoman with arms folded. She couldn't imagine why she had to endure an hour "time out" when she had been working all morning on chores. I advised her to check her attitude, it's what got her there in the first place. Soap and Buck Naked crashed in a tangle of arms and legs on the big chair, completely unfazed by the discipline. Life is a game to them and I probably should have separated them, but my goal was to get them back in harmony with each other, and I figured the two otters could help things along. At one point I asked BNB what they were doing and he informed me they were playing "Statue". No games, this is a time out. Standing Long Jump, being the 8 year old boy that he is, and tired from his chores, decided to make the most of it and stretched out full length on the couch. He, of course, had to register his complaint by throwing all the pillows on the ground, but he seemed too tired to make a real protest, and the next I knew he was reclining peacefully on the couch.
"How much time is left?"
Oh, about one minute less then the last time you asked. And so it went as I washed the floors (having them trapped on furniture was actually pretty handy- the floors dried with no foot prints.)
Unbeknowst to me, the worse punishment truly fell upon HG, a music afficianado with her dad's tastes. I have a "cleaning" file in itunes with samples of The Eagles, Gillian Welch, Simon and Garfunkel, Trishia Yearwood etc and
OH MY GOSH....JOHN DENVER! (I tend to sing JD songs out loud on the bike-so be warned IMFL friends)
I can't help it, I grew up in rural Colorado. I love John Denver. By default, so does the younger 3/4 ths of The Tribe. They were happily belting out "I'm Leaving on a Jet Plane" during their captivity- a little ironic, no?
HG bemoaned her fate to Trihubby when he got home. He took her out for ice cream.
You might think different, but I'm fairly certain John Denver meets the criteria of the Geneva Convention and doesn't rise to the level of undue torture, but I'm open to contemplation. To think, I could have played Patsy Cline.
For now, the extended time out is a weighty punishment, and the threat, and occasional sentencing seems to be working. There are only three days of summer remaining, I think we are going to make it just fine.
Happy final summer days to all-enjoy!