I’ve only got three toddlers here today–the oldest two are outside playing very nicely in the playhouse while I make lunch, and suddenly I hear this universe piercing scream. I look up and the oldest (3) is holding the door shut so that her friend (2) cannot get in the house. So of course I head over to the door. At which point the culprit takes off running; she knows she is headed for time out–we’ve been through this many times: when somebody wants to go through a door, you either get out of the way, or you help them. End of story.
So I go retrieve her from the playground. She starts wailing: “Mama! Mama!”
“No. No Mama. Your Mommy wouldn’t let you be mean to your friends, either. What is this door for?”
“Going inside and outside.”
“What are we supposed to do when someone wants to go through the door?”
“But! I fell on my face in the bark.”
“I’m sorry you fell down. That probably hurt. What do we do when someone wants to go through the door?”
“Is it nice to hold the door closed when Cortni wants to come inside?”
“But I fell down!”
“Did Cortni push you down?”
“Did she make you fall down?”
“You need to stand right here in time out until you are ready to be a good friend to Cortni.”
And there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth from the corner. I put lunch on the table; the other two came and started to eat; pretty soon she heads over and climbs up next to Cortni.
“Cortni, I’m sorry I held the door shut on you. You shouldn’t laugh when people fall on their faces in the bark. If they throw bark at you, you should just walk away, not laugh at them when they fall.”