To help ease some of the craziness, Courtney has recently taken to having the girls write essays while they are in time-out. These are typically assigned as 100 word essays on topics such as "WHY I AM IN TIMEOUT" or "WHY I NEED TO CALM DOWN". The actual completion of the 100 word criteria for an essay to be considered adequate seems to depend on how much time Dad needs in time-out (if you know what I mean).
You can laugh if you want, (because we are too) but it's really a useful little tool for helping us to maintain a little bit of sanity.
In fact, I've come to the conclusion that the essays come in handy for several reasons:
1. to extend the life of a time-out.
2. to help the timeout patron think things through.
3. perhaps it gives the sugar time to digest and therefore brings the said girl down from the bouncing-off-the-wall sugar rush.
4. if nothing else, it provides us with a little peace and quiet. (Don't you remember the excruciating pain of trying to hammer out 100 words in one sitting?)
5. most importantly, the essays guarantee some good laughs.
Here's a sampling. Enjoy.
Dear Mom and Dad, I am in time-out becose, I was to
wild. I am going to be com and I wont come back in timeout. And not run. it is
inprnt to obay becose, if we don't obay we will get in trubble. To make our
house better. I can lisstin. and not fight. I love mom very much! and I love dad
very much! and I love Ryenne very much! I love Emmy very much! I love Claire
Becase we were being wiled and not listening to you so you
put us in timeout. so that we will listen to you, and how I'm supposed to act.
and that I shouled listen to you. and I shouled always listen to you and make
good choices. And that I shouled always follow the rules. And I shouled try not
to go to timeout. So I shouled listen to you the first time. And I shouled try
better to listen and I think we all shouled, because that way we all fill
happyier and we can all golden rule. And I love all of you. Dad, Mom, Me, Kate,
Emmy, and even Claire. I really love our family. We have a WONDERFUL family.
It is inpprnt to be nice becase, if you'r not nice you will
get in trubbel. that is bad. and we will get in a fight and go to time-out it is
bad. I hate it! and if I am nice I don't haft to come in time-out.
I was in timeout becase Kate had to put her book away so I
laid down Kate came back and said in a mean way, "I was here first" so I said
"you say that if I leave then the other person can have it" and she didn't say
anything. so she laid down and elboed me in the chest.
(the previous essay must not have gotten Dad's okay, because the whole thing was crossed out.) The following essay was then written:
Because that way we all feel better and we have a better
family and we can follow the golden rule and we also feel a lot better.
I love my sisters and I don't wont to have them think that I
don't love them. I love Ryenne and Emmy so much. It is true!
I'm thinking that Kate must really like writing essays. Last week, I sent her to time-out. Courtney was out of town, so I know he didn't assign her an essay, but as I was tidying up that evening I found this note:
Dear Dad I am in time-out. I hope you come back sune. I mish
you (dad) croutney. From Kate Jeannett. by Dad.
So, there you have it. Someday we may write a book titled, "Essays, Bribery, and other Parenting Techniques Devised Out Of Sheer Desperation".