Blake threw the toy truck across the
room. It shattered into pieces and scattered all over the polished,
hardwood floor. "Blake!" his mum shouted. "Why did you do that?"
He stood looking at her. Pouting
lips hung down onto his chin. His eyebrows pointed towards his nose and
his arms were folded across his chest. "Because!" he shouted back.
"I think its time for a time out,
young man," she said. She took him to the corner of the room and stood him
facing the wall. "You have to stay here for fifteen minutes and think
about what you did. The toy truck is broken now and you can never play
with it again. The broken pieces could have hurt someone, Blake. Iíll set
the timer and when it dings, you can leave."
Blake faced the wall while his mum
cleaned up the broken pieces of the metal truck. She threw them into the
trashcan and went back to her drawing. She glanced now and then at her son
and her heart ached for him. As she put the last touches on her drawing,
when the timer dinged. He turned around and looked at her. "All right,
Blake. Did you think about what you did?" she asked.
"Yes, Mummy. Iím sorry. I wonít
throw my trucks ever again," Blake apologized. He ran over and hugged her.
"Why donít you go outside and play
for a while. Iíll call you when lunch is ready," she said to the four year
old. Blake ran out to play and his mum picked up her sketchpad. She looked
down at the drawing. "A frog," she whispered. She walked over to the
corner where Blake had spent his Ďtime outí and rubbed her hands on the
wall. "A frog," she said again. She smiled and went into the kitchen, an
idea going through her mind.
After lunch, Blake went with his
grandmother to the zoo. While he was gone, his mum got busy with her
project. The hours passed quickly and soon Blake was home again. As the
sky turned from bright blue to darkness, Blake heard his dad pull up in
the driveway. The front door opened and in he came. "Daddy! Youíre home!"
Blake shouted. "Guess what, Daddy? I went to the zoo with Grandma today."
"You did? What did you see?" his dad
"I saw elephants and tigers and
giraffes and gorillas," Blake said, excitedly.
"Did you have fun with Grandma?" he
"Grandma bought me a milkshake and a
sandwich shaped like a lion. It was good. I love Grandma," Blake replied.
"Iím glad. Letís go and have our
supper," his dad said. He and Blake went into the kitchen and sat down at
the table. "What are we having tonight dear?" he asked his wife.
"Your favorite, spaghetti with
meatballs, salad and garlic bread," she answered.
"Sounds good," he said.
She put the plates of food on the
table. Dad started to gobble his down but Blake just stared at it. "Whatís
the matter, Blake?" Mum asked.
"I donít like salad. I hate it. I
donít want salad," he pouted.
"Just take a bite or two. I didnít
give you much. Grandma told me that the animals at the zoo ate salad and
you watched them," she reminded.
"I am not a gorilla or a giraffe. I
donít want salad and Iím not going to eat it," he scowled.
"Try a bite," his dad said.
"I think itís time for a time out,"
Mum said, pulling Blakeís chair away from the table. "You go and stand in
the corner for five minutes and think about how lucky you are to have food
and then you can come back in here." She sent Blake into the other room to
stand in the corner.
He stomped his feet and marched into
the other room. When he got to the corner, he started to smile. "Frogs!"
He looked at the wall. His mum had painted three green frogs on the wall,
each sitting on a lily pad, their long tongues sticking out, trying to
catch flies. Blake giggled. He heard the ding and knew his time was up,
but stayed in the corner.
"Why hasnít Blake come back to eat
his supper?" Dad wondered.
"He must be enjoying the frogs," Mum
"Frogs? What frogs?"
"Go and look," she said. They both
got up and went into the other room. "He seems to spend so much time these
days in Ďtime outí. I thought it might make it a little less boring for
"Thatís a gift of love," Dad said,
smiling. "Blake, come and eat your supper," he called to his son.
Blake still didnít eat his salad and
he still didnít like time out, but at least he had the frogs on the wall
to keep him company.