Jim and I are hockey fans, and when we go to a game, we boo and hiss along with the rest of the crowd when the "three blind mice" take the ice. I suppose their official titles would be referees, but potato, pota-tow. We don't blame the players for doing something stupid, we naturally blame the refs... only because they caught it. "Psssht, he didn't touch him! He tripped over his own skate not our players outstretched stick. Seriously, are you watching the same game I am?!" I suppose referees get a bad rap, so thank goodness I'm not one of them... oh wait.
A stay-at-home-mom has so many titles: caregiver, chauffeur, dishwasher, laundress and of course, the all important referee. You can't have a game without a referee right? And what's the point in fighting if there's no one to appoint a winner? The referee is essential in determining the outcome and doling out the appropriate punishment. This is my least favorite title, not to mention the least rewarding. "Thanks for taking me to school, Mom." "Oh, you washed my favorite dress, thank you!" "Gee, I really was wrong for hitting my sister and I'm so thankful you've set me straight. Now I can avoid any future trips to juvie and years spent in therapy that will inevitably question my upbringing and aversion to ink blots. That one looks like a timeout."
The timeout is a refereeing staple and it's essential when sending players to their corners. Unfortunately, they are equivilent to the players age, so they don't last long; but on the bright side, over time, the players do get older.
A day spent with fewer than a half dozen timeouts, is a good day. Good days are few and far between. The regular battles consist of Peri hitting Ryah, Ryah stealing Peri's toy, Ryah mocking Peri while Peri's in timeout (really, at two she's already mastered this), Ryah screaming and both girls CONSTANTLY whining. This ref just doesn't tolerate whining and that's an instant "five for fighting" (gotta love those hockey references). With all of these regular infractions and timeouts, the lessons will surely be learned so these players can reform. I'm sure of it. Absolutely! Most definitely. Here's hoping.
I was told that children learn really well through repetition, however, they didn't mention that by reptition, they meant every day, three times a day for the next five years. Details details. The things they leave out of those "What to Expect" books. tsk.
While my girls may not understand the significance of their time spent in the penalty box, it at least gives me a few minutes of peace. Now if only I could reverse the roles and somehow get myself put into timeout. I promise to stay there, without a fight, for the next 30 minutes; not a minute less. And remember, there's no talking in timeout, "so shhhh, don't bother me, I'm learning my lesson."