When Brenden was about 13 months old we started doing time outs. At first, it seemed like a losing effort, especially since he found it quite hilarious to smack the dog, even if he did spend 30 seconds sitting down and crying. However, I realized a few weeks ago that time outs have become pretty few and far between. We still have to tell him no, but he gets it the first time and doesn't fight us on it. Many of his time outs are near nap time, which doesn't surprise me at all. He needs his sleep, just like his momma. Without it we turn into nasty grumps and it's even worse if we haven't eaten in a while.
So time outs seem to be working, and recently he proved it to us. My brother, Justin, was at our house so that Tim could help him with his taxes. Brenden was extremely excited to have both his dad and his uncle here to play with him. Unfortunately, he was also excited to play with Uncle Justin's keys, which we've decided is not a good idea since he knows exactly where the alarm button is and they aren't exactly the cleanest things ever. I took the keys and put them where Brenden can't reach them, which infuriated him. I haven't seen him that upset in a long time and I'm still not sure why it was so bad. He took a deep breath and let out a scream like he had a broken hand and then smacked my knee as hard as he could. There have been times where he's lashed out at us that way, but it was usually in response to one of us trying to keep him from touching the hot stove, which is the only time Tim or I will swat at his hands. Immediately I said, "Time out!" and pointed at his mat. Apparently he was just as shocked at his reaction to being denied the keys as we were because he stopped crying, walked over and sat down without one of us having to lead him there. He then sat there with his hands in his lap and a sad look on his face, but no crying, for 2 minutes. He didn't even try to get up. I stooped down, explained that hitting was not something he does, made him say sorry and then gave him a kiss. He skipped along on his merry way, happy to have his punishment over with. He didn't ask for the keys again. Now when I say "time out" I don't even have to point, he just walks to his mat and serves his time. I even found if we don't have a time out mat handy that telling him to sit down where he is for time out works, too. Yay! We did something right!
Today he also proved that he knows exactly what "potty" means. While playing in his room he made a noise that made me think that I would be changing a dirty diaper soon. I said, "Are you going potty" and he jumped up, ran to the bathroom, and started knocking on the door. I figured today was a good a time as any to sit him on his own potty, so I did. He sat there for a few minutes and surprisingly there was a very VERY small amount of pee pee in the potty. So we did a potty dance and then called dad and the grandmas. Potty training scares me to death, so the more interested he seems by himself, the better off I'll be! We're going to try putting him on there a few times a day just to get him used to it. Wish us luck!