I had forgotten about the 3 year old stage of "no's", time outs and whining. Operation "Follow Through" is the mission at the Mott house. The triplets are managing to strip every ounce of patience from me and they test me regularly. I find that it takes much longer to correct and punish than it does to let things go but in the end I do know that it is worth the time spent.
Colin has a tendancy to get into a mode where he whines and it escalates until I put him in timeout to reset. You may laugh at the concept of "reset" but when you witness it you completely understand. He gets himself all upset and he just cannot seem to calm himself down and hear what you are saying. I put him into timeout and after a couple minutes of screaming he stops. I go in there and request an apology for his actions. (we review what he did wrong) and when he gives me a "I'm sorry mom" than he is free to go. He usually is smiling while he wipes off his face and he is off on another adventure. Colin also will throw things when he is angry and they also gets him a time out.
Finn probably gets the most time outs right now. He is strong willed, wants to do it his way and he believes it is his right to tell me "no" regularly. I can accept "no" if it is something that he is answering but when that snotty "no" comes out of his mouth and he is starring at me, waiting for me to react than he also gets a time out. I calmly grab his hand and we walk into the dining room where the time out chair is. He is often mad but I let him know that I will not allow him to speak to me that way and he will have to sit. I tell them that they cannot get out of the chair and he is the one who will lean out and just put his tip toe on the floor. All the while he is having a stare off with me. What he really is thinking is, "ha ha I am going to touch the floor and what are you going to do about it". Now I tell him, "Finn don't you dare get out of that seat or touch the floor, if you do than I will come out here and spank your butt and you will sit here even longer". So far that seems to work. Once his time is up I ask for an apology. He will often say, "no" so I say, "ok well than you can stay there". We go back and forth until he is ready and then he is done with his time out. It kind of cracks me up because somedays he will be so stubborn and not say he is sorry and stay in there for a long time.
Declan gets the fewest time outs of the 3. He is the spaz of the family but he usually isn't talking back or whining. He is the one that probably knows my limits the best and I usually don't have to worry about his behavior when we are out in public or at home. He does get his timeouts but for random reasons. I am also a big counter. I start counting and Declan always comes by 3. It is like he knows.
We went for ice cream the other day and I told all of them in the car that we need to be patient, quiet, hold hands and all the good stuff. They all agreed and were very happy to go. Sometimes I will ask them what the rules are of going out and they are so funny because they will all say, "no hitting, no biting, no screaming and we have to hold hands" We get our scoops of ice cream and get seated when Colin immediately starts whining and walking around saying he wants something to drink. (he sees a cooler full of fun colored juice boxes. The 3 scoops of ice cream cost over 10.00 and I was not going to fulfull the fleeting moment of having to have a juice box x3) I say no and he slides his ice cream over to me and begins a louder whine. I get up and go over to him and get really close to him and whisper in his ear, "If you do not sit in your seat and stop whining Iwill pick you up, take you to the car and spank your little butt". He looks at me and kind of slides back in his seat. I know we are on a slippery slope at this point so I quickly assess the amount of ice cream left in the others bowls. He has no idea that in my head I am in the ramp up stage of panick mode. If he throws a fit I can only threaten what I can follow thru on. That can be scary in a quiet little ice cream shop where there are people all over with their coffee, ipads, and books.
Another situation was when we were at the beach. One of my big rules is, "when mommy says it is time to go than it is time to go". (I do not have enough hands to handle 3 so I need to make sure that where ever we are..we can exit in a civilized manner.) We were going to leave and they all needed a quick shower so that I could change them and get them to the car. Colin refused and ran away from me. I got him and gave him a chance to follow directions and he chose not to so I wrapped a towel around him and put him in his carseat in the car. He was kicking and screaming the whole way. I turned on the car and left him while I got the other 2 all ready. (please note that the car is literally 20 steps from the shower so I was not leaving him unattended). I showed lots of happiness to the other 2 and showed Colin sadness. By the time we got home Colin wanted to be a good boy and change his clothes.
David came home from work that night and he had to run out for a couple of quick errands so I wanted to reinforce the behavior thing that I am working one. I talk it over with David and then I wink at him and say...go with it.. I ask the trips to come into the kitchen and I say, "Daddy is going out and he is going to take Declan today because Declan was a good listener, held my hand and was very nice today". Declan was so excited and thrilled. I explained the reasons again to the other 2 as to why they were unable to go and that maybe next time they could go. They were sad but once they got over the fact that they were not going I immediately heard from them both, "we be good boys and Daddy take us next time". That is when you know they finally get it.