I used to watch 24. A lot. And I learned many things that have helped me in parenting. This is what I have learned.
1. You need to be able to see many things going on all at once.
A fan of 24 knows the shot. The screen is divided into four frames. Upper left, Jack being all BA about it. Upper right, Kim being an idiot. Lower left, terrorist being naughty. Lower right, people typing on computers looking concerned. In the center, IT'S FIVE O'CLOCK!!!!
As a mom, you need to have this skill. For instance in my world it looks a little like this. Mind divided into four frames. Upper left, I'm in the kitchen cooking up some nom noms. Upper right, Kyle is on the computer. Looking at airplanes. Again. Lower left, Madeleine has grabbed a shoe and is walking towards her sister. Lower right, Juliette is happily shaking a rattle. IT'S ALMOST NAP TIME!!!!
The reason this skill is important will be evident soon.
2. Terrorists want to make things explode.
This peaceful scene melds into one and Madeleine is throwing the shoe at her sister's head. (Side note, Madeleine never does this to be mean unlike the terrorists of 24 who enjoy them some killing. Madeleine simply loves shoes. And wants to share. Hard) Juliette explodes in screeching, crying hysteria. Explodes!
3. Terrorists do not want to be caught.
Madeleine hears the explosion and immediately runs away from the scene with a shocked look in her green eyes. The pursuit is on. It usually doesn't take to long as Kyle and I are full sized adults and she is a little toddler but she tries to run anyway. Just as no terrorist can hide from Jack Bauer, oh Madeleine cannot hide from us. Not even in her princess tent. We catch her. Because we saw the whole thing. (Now you get number one!)
4. WE DO NOT NEGOTIATE WITH TERRORISTS.
After catching a terrorist Jack Bauer usually breaks a few knee caps, snaps a few fingers, shoots someone in the leg. Ya know, standard stuff. We have much, much worse ways. We calmly look her in the eye and say "No Madeleine we do not throw things at our baby." And then we put her in time out. For two minutes. She may cry and say, "Peeze" in a voice that could melt your heart, but she still receives her time out. The whole two minutes of it.
5. Offer redemption.
In Jack Bauer's world it's something like, "Tell me what I want to know or I will cut out your pancreas. In our world it means that we pick up our darling little girl, give her a hug, wipe the tears from her eyes, look at her and say, "We do not throw things at our baby. Can you please go give your baby a kiss?"
And our sweet little girl toddles over to her sister, bends down lovingly, says "Baby!" and kisses her little head.
Jack Bauer may save the world every other day but I have learned to lovingly discipline a toddler. Point, me.