Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Mommy Sensor Strikes Again

Sadie knows that she's not allowed to touch the hearth.  It's the one rule that is enforced throughout the day (probably because it's the one rule that Sadie breaks).  The punishment varies between a ten and fifteen second time out (fifteen seconds when she has already had several consecutive time outs for touching the hearth). 

In a way I have to admit that I'm slightly impressed by her determination.  Today she had three time outs in a five minute period.  And it's not as if she has her time outs next to the hearth.  When she's in time out I pick her up and take her over next to a wall in the hallway by the kitchen, where there's nothing interesting to look at.  We sit down on the ground together and I count to ten (or fifteen as the case may be).  I would have thought, before this afternoon, that putting that much space between Sadie and hearth, would discourage her from returning to wage yet another attack on the wood stove.  After all, there are a lot of distractions between the wood stove and the kitchen.  She has to pass by her lion walker, her play pen with all her toys, Kitty, her cruise and crawl and a heap of stuffed animals.  Sometimes she even has to crawl passed Grumpa's slippers, which she loves to untie.  Today, however, her concentration was unwavering.  She had one task and it was firmly in the front of her mind.  To climb up the wood stove.  

Now to be fair, I have to admit that Sadie's attack on the stove wasn't entirely unprovoked.  It isn't that the stove has done anything, but I bought a book for fifty cents at a garage sale and when the attack occurred I was reading it.  I had picked the book up after Sadie had woken up from her nap, had been changed and had her lunch.  She was playing happily on the floor, content in the knowledge that I was paying complete attention to her every little move.  Then she sensed it.  My attention was elsewhere.  I was, gasp, reading.  She did the only think that really made sense.  She went straight over to the hearth, turned around and glanced back at me, to make sure that I was watching, and then smacked the rocks loudly with the palm of her hand.  
You see, Sadie has learned that touching the stove involves an automatic time out.  And a time out means that she's being picked up by Mommy and carried across the room to the time out spot.  And if Mommy is carrying her to the time out spot, Mommy isn't reading her book.
 Apparently, all reading must be restricted to nap time.  Sadie feels that she needs my undivided attention, even when she's playing without me.  The Mommy Sensor strikes again.  And again.  And again... 

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