(Written on 9/29/10 by Rosie S.)
I was on berm for the first shift of the day. Tatu came out after a little while and climbed up to where I was sitting. She signed THAT pointing at the celery that is flourishing in the berm garden. I replied, SORRY CAN’T YOU HAVE PARTY. Today was Lani’s birthday so we threw a party for the chimpanzees in her honor with a variety of exciting (and healthy!) party snacks.
Tatu did not give up so easily and next she signed PERSON THERE APPLE pointing at the apple tree. I again replied SORRY CAN’T. Tatu could not be swayed and this time she signed GO THERE as she began walking further along the garden. I followed as she stopped beside the marigold patch and signed THAT FLOWER pointing at a yellow marigold. I pointed toward the party room and signed SORRY CAN’T, YOU FINISH FRUIT, NUT, FRUIT-DRINK IN THERE? Tatu tried one last time by signing APPLE THERE and I again replied SORRY.
When Tatu realized I was, essentially, useless to her she looked at me sternly and pointed at the chair on berm. Known as a time-out, this behavior is a commonly used discipline technique by parents following what they would consider unacceptable behavior. I can only assume that Tatu felt similarly! I signed SORRY one last time and walked over to sit in my chair. Tatu sat on the terrace ten feet away from me and ignored me for the rest of my berm shift.