Know what makes me really nervous?
When Carter walks up to me out of the blue and says "Sorry".
At that point I have to immediately go on a scavenger hunt around my house looking for damage. Sometimes I figure it out, but not always. Carter, however, is satisfied because he has made the first move and apologized. How big of him.
I think he feels like sorry is a catch all, and as long as you say it then all is well.
He also uses please and thank you in this way. For example, as long as he's said please then he should automatically get what he wants. Or its alright if he grabs a toy away from Grant, because he yelled thank you over his shoulder while running away from the scene.
Now we have sorry.
So he'll just admit to things he's done, even if I haven't caught him yet.
Like, he figures, if I'm already getting a time out I may as well come clean about some other stuff I've done too. Its good for the soul. Ya know, Carter, this is not like confession. You're not gonna just get one Hail Mary for admitting to nine different crimes against humanity.
Now when I release him from the step I'll ask him "Why were you in time out?" Most of the time it sounds like he's just guessing:
"Cause I throw a toy? Cause I pushed Grant? Cause I hit the dog?"
Realistically he's probably done all of these things, so I guess he's not technically wrong.
Once at the end of a time out I went over and asked him why he was in there. He said "Because I throw a garbage truck." So I said, "That's right. We don't throw things".
I let him out thinking, well at least he knows what he did wrong. As I walked away, however, I realized...that's not what he was in there for.
And sure enough I found that garbage truck in the middle of the living room.
That little bastard!