Time Out

altI was out in the garden the other day, when I heard Elizabeth start crying from inside the house. Running in, I found her sitting in the “time out” spot, Joseph standing over her, a stern look on his face, his hands on his hips.

“What’s going on?” I asked.

“I had to put Elizabeth in time out,” my five-year-old replied.

“What?! That’s not your job!”

“She was being naughty,” he shrugged.

“It’s my job to put her in time out,” I said sternly.

“You told me not to tattle anymore and she was being bad. I took care of it.”

I looked at the future lawyer, stumped.

He had a point. I had just finished telling him not to tattle anymore. It was getting out of control. With his scary sense of logic, he decided that if he could no longer tattle, the only way to deal with a “naughty” little sister was put her in time out himself.

I opened my mouth to say something wise and mother-like, but couldn’t think of a word. Instead, I looked at Elizabeth, sniffling quietly and somewhat gleefully waiting for her brother to get into trouble.

“What did you do?”

“I jumped off the couch,” she confessed in a tiny voice.

Any hopes that the offense would not be time out worthy, fell to the side. I sat down on the floor with Elizabeth. “You know you’re not supposed to do that, baby.” She nodded.

I looked at Joseph. “You can’t put her in time out. That’s not your job.”

“So what am I supposed to do?”

“I don’t know. I’ll get back to you on that one.”

Do you have a solution for this pickle?