Prisoner vs Prisoner: It Works

This morning, we had a…situation.

Seems as though while dad was in the front room, and Theo and I were upstairs, some little cutie decided to use a dry erase marker on dad’s IPhone.

Green. Dry. Erase. Marker. To the IPhone!!

Dad was not pleased. And we had to get to the bottom of the situation, quickly.

I stepped in. And I somehow switched into Burn Notice mode, minus the cool suit or tropical wardrobe (or a Mojito in hand). I employed the prisoner-vs-prisoner tactic (mentioned in this episode summary, last graph, here). It went a little like this…

“OK. Who colored on dad’s phone?!” in my very serious, Santa-Claus-Is-Coming-To-Town-And-You’re-On-His-List, voice.


(cue chirping sound of crickets…um, wrong setting. It was snowing. Cue sound of blowing snow.)


“That’s it. Both of you. Time out. NOW! You (pointing and gesturing to Olena) in the kitchen. You on the couch. Five minutes until someone tells me who colored on the phone.”

IMAGE Gretchen - the calm before the storm

The calm before the storm.

3-2-1 “WAAAAAAA I DIDN’T DO IT. I DIDN’T DO IT. I WAS UPSTAIRS. I DIDN’T DO IT. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH.” Gretchen.I let the timer go and continued to try to get information from Olena.

“Now, Olena, did you color on the phone? Just tell the truth Olena. Gretchen’s in the other room. She’s crying her eyes out. You, you got nothing here. So, who colored on the phone?”

“Wasn’t me.”

“Then who did it Len?”

Nothing. She just shrugged her shoulders.

“Wow. Olena. Just come clean. Gretchen said she didn’t do it. Did you do it. I know Theo didn’t do it because he was upstairs. And it wasn’t me, I was in your room.”

Olena shrugs her shoulders.

Timer goes off.

“Ok. Both of you. In the kitchen. NOW…”

Gretchen, whimpering her way to the kitchen, gathers herself together and joins Olena in the kitchen.

“So, why were you in time out.”


“That’s not what I asked. Why were you in time out?”


“So, Olena, Gretchen says she didn’t do it. Did you do it?”

Olena: “mnnnnf”



“Well, looks like you both will get another time out. It’s better to just tell the truth. Especially with Santa coming in just a few days.”

Olena “ididit”

“A-ha! What did you do Olena.”

“I colored on dad’s phone.”

“Well, I want you to go over to dad and say you’re sorry, and then come back here for a time out.”

She shuffled her feet slowly over to the front room. Told dad she was sorry. And then she shuffled her feet back over to the kitchen, sat down, and served her second time out..after some whining and crying.

Prisoner vs prisoner worked. I got my answer. Olena got a timeout and realized what she did was wrong — for now. And both girls got banned from IPhone use for the time being.

Still can’t believe I was able to do all that questioning without laughing out loud at those girls and their reactions.

Someday they will laugh at this too…

(I hope.)

Until next time…



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