Max and Rebecca each have a beloved blankie. The blankies get dragged all over the house and are often worn during dinner. As a result they get filthy; stained with food, dirt and lord knows what else. Washing them is very traumatic, but I insist.
Normally I inform the dynamic duo when it is time to wash their blankies. There is an initial protest, but in the end I win out. Usually it is after pointing out the larger stains and sometimes letting them load the blankies into the washer. Sometimes I whisk the blankies away to be washed without their notice.
Today I tried the sneak attack and utterly failed.
Five minutes after I started the wash Max and Rebecca noticed that their blankies were missing. They noticed the washer was in action and demanded to know if their blankies were being washed. When I confirmed their worst fears Max announced he was very angry with me. For 15 minutes he stormed about, glaring at me and saying “I’m mad at you.”
It was a tiresome performance, but I was at fault. So I asked him what I should do. He didn’t know. I then got a very silly idea.
“Max, maybe I should go in time-out.”
This brought him up short. I could see a smile hiding behind the glower. He agreed that it was the thing to do. Struggling to maintain his fierce expression he led me to the time out bench. After I sat down ( with me trying very hard not to smile) he told me that my time out would be for eleven minutes. He then proceeded to go up the stairs. Halfway up he paused and reiterated “Eleven minutes.”
As he turned to go up, something caught his eye in the kitchen. His little arm shot out and he asked me “what is that?”
My view was obscured by the counter and I told him “I don’t know. I can’t see what you are pointing at because I’m in time out.”
Max thoughtfully paused on the stairs. He was still mad at me, but he really wanted to know what that thing was.
A moment later he declared my eleven minutes were up and I was no longer in time out. He then asked me again what that was in the kitchen.
It turns out it was just a container of salad I had sitting on the counter. I had been just deciding if I should have it for lunch when all the drama started.
I don’t know where the eleven minutes came from, but his putting me in time up helped him get over his snit.