Earlier in the day, I was folding some laundry and Tobin was "helping" by playing with the dryer light and pulling the lint trap out, which is just inside the dryer door. Well, I didn't want him playing with the lint because, I don't know, doesn't it seem like that would be especially bad for a toddler respiratory system? Anyway, Tobin pulled the trap out and I said, "No, don't play with that." He left it alone for a minute but then pulled it out again. So I said, "No, Mama's serious. Don't play with that." Tobin's eyes widened and then twinkled as he said, "Mama's serious." Hmm, seems my message wasn't getting across because T thinks it's mildly amusing and I'm starting to agree with him because he just said "serious."
So I continue folding and Tobin pulls the lint trap out again. I guess I decided to up the ante: "Tobin, if you do that again you're going to time out." This time, Tobin actually smiled and said brightly, "Time out?" As if I said some other fun activity like "walk Hannah?" or "ride in Daddy's truck?" So I promptly closed the dryer door, which I should have done about five minutes earlier, and Tobin moved on to something else. And I was left wondering why he thought time out was fun. Could he remember that ONE time a couple of months ago when I made him sit in his rocker for a minute and called it time out? And he just smiled and rocked and generally thought it was neat? Do they use it at his school? Does he think it's something fun because he's never been in time out, because surely his teacher would have told me they used it? I was stumped.
About ten minutes later as we were walking out the door to make a Target run, Tobin said "No, Mama serious. No, Mama serious." And said it a couple of more times at the store.
Clearly, I have some work to do with the whole being stern thing.