JAVI: Baby hits all the time!
ME: (pretend to hit him)
JAVI: No, baby, no hitting! You have a time out now.
JAVI: (leading me into his room and closing the door) You're three months old, so you have a three minute time out. [Javi will be three years old on April 1; his time words are still a little off].
ME: Waa! Waa!
JAVI: Now you kick the door and try to come out.
This is a script we went through rather often a few weeks ago, with the roles reversed, during a spectacularly successful discipline campaign; now almost all of our time outs are pretend ones adminstered to me/"baby". One of the drives that this roleplaying is obviously addressing is empowerment; the desire to be the one who is dominant and in charge, when this is not at all the ordinary state of affairs. There's also a strong element of rehearsal: learning a likely chain of actions and consequences through repetition. Interestingly, Javi is a much more lenient "mommy" than I am a daddy -- he will often let me pretend to hit him for minutes on end, until I have to break character and say "Javi, babies get a time out the first time they hit".