I wait to hear if the exclamation is followed by a cry to determine if I need to investigate or not.
Boo threw a Lego’s bin and hit Bug in the back. I understand "boys will be boys" and that means being physical and wrestling and general destruction, but so far I still draw a line at hurting a brother who has done nothing to you. (And most of the time there's a line at hurting a brother who HAS done something to you.) But I digress...
Boo is one of those kids who's hard to figure out just what kind of punishment will really make an impact. When he sees me coming after he's done something he knows he shouldn't, he often takes off running (and laughing like a maniac). Sometimes I'm inspired with the perfect "punishment fits the crime" technique, but the default is always a timeout. So I sat him on the chair and when the timer went off, got down to look eye-to-eye at him.
“Boo, do you know why you got a timeout?”
He’s looking everywhere but at me. I take his face in my hands, “Look at me please. Do you know why you got a timeout?”
He grins slyly, tilts his chin down and looks out the top of his eyes, past his looong lashes that will be the envy of lots of little girls.
“Mommy has blue eyes?”
I don't know whether to laugh, explain that "Mommy has green eyes," or tremble in fear for the future that I face with this one when the little dude (at 2 1/2) is already trying to charm his way out of sticky situations!