The first thing I announced, really loudly, so that even the neighbors two houses down the street could hear, was DO NOT THROW THAT BALL IN THE HOUSE! Because even though it's a Nerf ball, it's plenty big and heavy enough to knock something off a shelf that would, in turn, crack a skull.
Of course, since I announced the Nerf-ball-throwing-moratorium to the entire block, that meant it was a free-for-all in our house.
Yesterday, Bubba finished his dinner first so he hopped down from the table and disappeared into the toyroom. A few minutes later, I heard a noise very similar to the noise a heavy-ass Nerf ball would make if it was thrown at a shelf-full of toys. I proceeded to ask him what he was doing.
Typical. Little kid. Silence. With the big Who. Me? eyes.
I stared him down and said
I returned to the kitchen to make sure Miss-Miss and J-man were eating and not painting the walls with yogurt and heard the Nerf-slapping-toy-shelves noise again.
So again, I asked him if what he was doing involved the ball and again, he gave me the blank I-can't-understand-you-because-I-speak-Inuit stare.
Because he wouldn't give me a truthful answer (or an answer-period) I sent him to timeout. Now, allow me to explain. Timeout in this house is in the toy-free living room. Bor-ing. I typically send the offending child into timeout for the number of minutes corresponding to his/her age (5-years-old gets a 5-minute timeout) with a discussion when it's all said and done about why they were in timeout, what they did wrong, how to avoid timeout in the future, and that I love them.
Bubba slowly walked into the living room, head down, and I returned to the kitchen to wait for Miss-Miss and J-man to finish their dinners. Ten minutes later, they were finished and began to play. Meanwhile, I nursed a nasty headache I had acquired that morning. J-man and Miss-Miss were occupied and the next ten minutes were peaceful. Then, through my headache-haze, I realized why the previous 20 minutes had been so very quiet.
Something I've learned about having three kids is that odd numbers of children create lots of strife. When one child is playing alone, all is well. When two children are playing together, they get along swimmingly. When you add that third child to the two-child mix, then you get screaming chaos. There hadn't been chaos for 20 minutes because my sweet, quiet Bubba had been sitting in timeout, waiting for me to give him the go-ahead to play.
Twenty minutes, people. He's not supposed to be in a 20-minute timeout until he's a surly, drunken college student siphoning my money to text books and frat party keggers.
Hello, Ms. Dorkwad! I'm Helga Funkquist with the Nobel organization. We're debuting a new prize to the Nobel family. The Anti-Nobel Prize for Motherhood! Bonehead mothers like you will be receiving this prize every year! But, instead of an all-expenses paid first-class trip to Stockholm to receive your precious metal medal alongside the rich and famous you'll receive your plastic Anti-Nobel in the mail. Encased in a dirty diaper. That's been wrapped in a bio-hazard bag. Because you're an idiot. Buh-bye!
Sorry, Bubba. Next time I send you to timeout, fuss and cry about it. You're too danged quiet! And I'm too danged distracted!