Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Finley has access to all of the lower cupboards and drawers in the kitchen. I have only locked off the one under the sink where I keep the dish soap and a few other household cleaners. I've decided to let her have at the others. There isn't anything in them to hurt her. She loves to explore and satisfy her curiosities. She has a grand time playing with the mason jar rings, wearing them as bracelets, taking the Tupperware apart refastening the lids and filling the water pitcher with small toys. Sometimes, I open cupboards to find them holding unusual household items like, raisins, or a shoe, little reminders that my daughter has been here playing. While she is removing the cookie tins to use as drums I get to work quickly in the kitchen prepping a meal or parts of the meal while she is happily entertained.

I do, however, have one cupboard that is off limits in the dining room. It's a built in and there are no obvious handles so Finley has not clued into the fact that I have my good china serving plates, candles and the dried bouquet of roses I held at my wedding stored under there. That is until the other day, when she saw me replacing a serving platter. Ever since then she has been making a B-line straight for the cupboard door.

First, she pulls off the tea towel I have hanging there more for decor than polishing stem ware and then she looks back over her shoulder at me and smiles. She looks me straight in the eye while she proceeds to open the cupboard door and reach inside. While she is waving her hand around inside the cupboard she's looking at me, because, she absolutely knows that I don't want her playing in this cupboard. I have already sat with her and showed her all the facinating items sitting on the shelves. I let her touch a few breakable items just to satisfy her curiosity. My bright idea was to demystify the cupboard and it's contents and we would not have an issue. Boy was I wrong! For the last few days she has been in there every chance she gets.

"Finley, please close the door to the cupboard and go find something else to play with. This cupboard is mommy's. It's "NO" for you."

She stares at me and giggles. She reaches her hand in to touch a blue vase.

"Finley, you WILL go to time -out. Close the door, now, please."

She reaches into the cupboard with both hands, this time she bends her knees as though bracing herself to lift, her little diaper bum facing me, and pretends to pick up the vase.


She laughs, jumps up, closes the cupboard door, and runs to sit on the bottom step of the staircase. The step we reserve for "Time-Outs." We began to impose Time -Outs when Finley went through a biting phase in September. At that time, a very upset and startled Finley sat on the bottom stair crying, while I explained to her why biting hurt mommy and if she continued she would have many more "Time-Outs." I actually thought she was too young for Time-Outs but the pediatrician said she was not, he said to try it and see if she reacted to it. As a result of biting we had several "Supported Time- Outs" and the biting stopped. Time- Outs were indeed effective.

Finley is still giggling when I approach her to sit beside her on the stair. At 19 months and 6 days old my sweet Finley has given herself a Time-Out.

Sometimes the urge to touch something despite heeded warnings not to, is too much. For Finley the consequences of giving into this curiosity was absolutely worth it.

As for me. I think I'm in BIG trouble. What comes after time outs?

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