So I decided that it was time to implement a formal time-out structure. I set up the pack-and-play in a very boring corner of the dining room, away from the glitz and glam of the den and kitchen where we spend the majority of our waking hours.
And wouldn’t you know that the first time-out worthy infraction came when Baby A started preparing to streak, working her arms out of her onesie?
I scolded her, “[Baby A], you know that you have to keep your clothes on. Taking them off is not nice. You’re going to Time Out.”
I picked her up, unceremoniously, and put her in the pack-and-play, out of sight of Baby B and me. I set the timer on the microwave for two minutes.
Baby A didn’t cry. Baby B, left alone in the glamorousness of the den, didn’t cry, either.
When the timer on the microwave sounded, I went to the pack-and-play and knelt down beside Baby A. “[Baby A], you understand we have to keep our clothes on, right? Say, ‘yes, Mommy.’”
Baby A so sweetly repeated, “Yes, Mommy,” as if she actually knew what I was talking about.
I took her back to the den and lifted her across the gate.
It was at that point that Baby B, who I then realized had exhibited remarkable patience in that probably nearly-three minute stretch, began to whimper.
“[Baby B] turn!” she cried.
So now we’re working to reinforce that “Time Out is not nice.”
Fortunately (?), Baby A has gotten several more opportunities for that to sink in. Baby B still desperately wants a turn in the Time-Out pack-and-play.
I am pretty sure that this is a new little game for Baby A. I know I just need to be consistent with time-outs, and everyone will eventually understand. And I knew this would be the case.
What I didn’t plan for was the “twin dynamic”, though.
Could Baby A be filling Baby B’s head with tales of glitz and glam from the Time-Out pack-and-play? Could Baby A be purposefully doing things (like taking her clothes off and shredding books) to warrant coveted alone time?
I’m beginning to think these girlies are much smarter than I am. I just wonder, is there something I could do to earn some time by myself???