As is typical of the 7:00-8:00 hour, Miles was was wired tonight, running roughshod over the house and wanting to do absolutely anything OTHER than eat dinner (or let Dad watch Jeopardy! in peace). After he grabbed his stuffed dragon from his bedroom and promptly threw it across the dinner table, nearly knocking over dishes and drinks, things had finally gotten out of hand.
“No! That’s a time-out,” I said, taking Miles by the hand and guiding him to his bedroom. Usually, he’ll begin screaming and trying to pull away, but he didn’t protest as I led him across the room. He just looked at me with understanding as I shut the door.
Surprised by his compliance and thankful for a quiet moment, I started cleaning up. I was loading the dishwasher a few minutes later when Miles finally called out, “DADDY! DAAAADYYYY!”
I went to his door. Without opening it, I asked, “What’s up, buddy?”
“I’m listening now.”
“I’m glad you’re listening. Do you know what you did wrong?”
“And are you going to do it again?”
I opened the door. “Good. Because we shouldn’t throw things in the house, should we?”
“No.” In an uncharacteristic display of self-control and self-awareness, Miles didn’t try to run past me and escape, he just stood there looking up at me.
“Can I have a hug?” I asked.
“Yeah,” he said, finally stepping over to me and embracing me.
And while he immediately asked where his dragon was (I had put it on the couch), he didn’t throw it again.