We got new tubes of toothpaste for the girls. Sophia wanted to buy two, one for each of them, and she picked a purple grape flavoured one for herself and a pink strawberry flavored one for Anjali.
When we got home, the girls were discussing toothpaste while I stood at the kitchen table looking through some bills. On the periphery of my attention, I was aware that an argument was going on, which had reached a point where Sophia was standing between my legs saying "No No! Its mine!" and Anjali was saying "I just want to look Sophia!"
The bill was important, and the situation didnt look interfere necessary, so I didnt pay attention. Suddenly there was a spank. Anjali had slapped Sophia and waked away to patti's room in a huff.
Sophia began to cry.
I carried Sophia to the bedroom. She was not really hurt. I left her on the bed and came to talk to Anjali
"Go away mummy!", came a muffled voice. "I am in time out!"
I was amused, but decided to let her be. After changing Sophia's clothes and going through the bill properly, I happened to peek into the bathroom.
Anjali had arranged her toothpaste and toothbrush in an old waterbottle just near the sink, where she could reach it.
I peeked into her room.
"Did you arrange the toothpaste in the orange bottle?"
"Its very nice. Well done"
I didnt wait for a reply but stepped out and closed the door behind me.
I like to think that that made a difference.
Five minutes later, Anjali called "Mummy!"
I was in the living room reading.
"Mummy! I am sorry I hit Sophia. I want to say sorry to her"
I must say that I was impressed. Later, as we were in bed, i told Anjali
"Anjali learnt a lot of things today. you have learnt to almost read, you have learnt to swim very well, you have learnt to say sorry..."
"And I have learnt to put myself in time out", she said.