The Magic Timer

Tick…Tick….Tick – Ah, the magic of a timer. What a wonderful little device.

Damian has been so short tempered lately and while I used a timer to help him get his room cleaned up, I have never used it for time-outs. I am now though, and I must say, this is grrrreeat! I turn that timer on and Damian instantly gets it! I love it so much, I have a timer on a rope! It goes everywhere with me and serves as an instant behavior modification tool and attitude adjuster.

I set it for 5 minutes everyday and Damian cleans his room. We call it “5 minute clean-up”. We use it to time brushing our teeth, video game usage, and even eating dinner sometimes. This thing must have a million uses! I even use it on occasion to soothe Brandon when nothing else will. I guess the ticking sound is soothing to him. I wonder if that will make it less effective when he is older?

I really thought using a timer like this was too rigid, and it probably only works for some children (like everything else), but Damian is one of those kids who would talk until he starved and argue until I gave in, so the timer really helps him feel a sense of urgency to get on with things. Of course I do use it reasonably, giving him more than enough time to finish the task at hand. In fact, I don’t even set the timer until I have reminded him several times to do something.

I think I will put “The Magic Timer” in my kids hope chest. It may be a valuable tool for them when they have children! It has certainly made my “Parenting Hall of Fame”.

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I’d forgotten….

OMG, what a week – what a year!

Damian finished Kindergarten on the 12th and he is home for the summer! I really was looking forward to it but two weeks into it I am already wishing I had looked into summer camp. I love having him home but he never stops talking. It can be extremely distracting! Not to mention any schedule I had going when he was in school has been blown to all hell! Somehow the days seem much longer now! And on the rare occasion that i do get a moment without him, I am still reminded of him by the remnants of crap laying on the floors around my house.

Brandon has started crawling. he has also started throwing tantrums, eating toys, and generally causing chaos. I had forgotten what kind of damage such a small person can cause and this child is a crawling hurricane. He went from 0 to 60 in 2 days and can now wreak havoc in my living room in a record time of 3 minutes. It is definitely un-nerving. Especially considering that he is only 8 months old right now!

So it looks like the quiet days with baby are over and summer vacation is going to be a battle for my sanity. My step-daughter is on her way to visit from PA. She hasn’t seen Brandon since he was 2 weeks old so it is exciting for both of the boys. I will come back and tell everyone how it is going.

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Mom – A “One Size Fits All” Solution

Mom- the only title in the world that any woman can have without any degrees! We don’t go to school to learn how to be a mommy, the children don’t come with manuals, and we are on call 24 hours a day with no pay. Talk about over-worked and under-paid!?

We are teachers, nurses, step-parents, doctors, do-it-yourself specialists, analysts, friends, organizers, chauffeurs, chefs, bouncers, maids, wives (a job in itself), keepers of the peace and so much more- all rolled into one name- Mom.

We are “One Size Fits All” and we fit the bill easily, almost naturally. Some of us are home all the time with our kids, and others work while caring for their children. Some of us play Dad too! All of us are under-estimated and under-appreciated. And while, every now and again, the benefits of all our hard work are realized, we are still desperately under-compensated. We don’t get days off, and we don’t punch out at 5 o’clock.

Our parents tell us “little Susy was out of diapers at 6 months old, and washing laundry at 4 years old.” , failing to mention that in their day, family ties were strong and the village raised the child. Our husbands cannot understand why we cannot keep the house spotless at any given moment of the day, while doctors want us to devote all our time to immunizations and mental health. Meanwhile, your third grader has science homework on a lesson which hasn’t yet been taught in the classroom, your one year old wants a sippy “right now”, and your 16 year old wants to know why she can’t get her nose pierced and is vowing to move far away as soon as she is 18 because you are “being so unfair!”. The dog is barking, the phone is ringing, someone is at the door and it’s only Monday. In the back of our minds we are wondering how we are going to get through the week, but by Friday, all will be well.

Everything will be done, but we won’t get a promotion, or a over-achiever certificate. The newspaper headlines will read “Eighty-Nine Year old saves stray puppy” instead of “Mom makes it through the week with sanity intact”. No fame, fortune or glory for us. Just the promise of repeating the same impossible feats next week and the week after that!

And, it is with all this in mind, that I have decided to change the title of my blog to “One Size Fits All”. Because we as moms, fit every job description. We do more than any one profession does, and we obviously don’t do it for the money! Plus I feel like complaining today! Hey, we all have our days, right?

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“We never go to the park”

“Mom, you never take me to the park!” These were the enlightening words my five year old shared with me this weekend.

I have always been amazed at how easily we parents can lose sleep over a simple comment. And here I am losing sleep. And I feel guilty. Sure, I take him lots of places! Yes, we do a lot of fun things together! But the instant stirring of guilt in my gut made me evaluate my reasons for avoiding the park.

I even said something to my husband about it, also adding that parks didn’t seem very safe anymore. “Surely, you aren’t feeling guilty for trying to keep him safe?” he asked incredulously. But I do. Because something in my gut is telling me that it is more good intentions that keep my child from the park.

I guess you could look at it like this. We, as parents, are over-worked and under-paid. We want our kids to have fun, but we want to enjoy them having fun. We don’t want to be scared of what they may pick up. We don’t want to worry about who might try to pick them up. We don’t want to be on our child’s heels the whole time they are playing.

Places like Chuck E Cheese are great and require so much less intervention than the park. Does that make us lazy, or scared? But, one could argue that our children are missing out on the importance of playing outside, using their imagination, and getting some sunlight and exercise. Some of our children get this in their backyards. Some of them are happy with that. But we don’t have a swing set. So, playing in the yard has lost it’s interest in my house.

I can’t help but wonder, what would happen if the good moms and dads in the world set aside their fear and took their kids to the park. Would the good people of the world once again reign supreme? Would we be still outnumbered by the evils in the world? And would we conquer the guilt of not taking our children to a park, only to be saddled with another guilty feeling?

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Well, yesterday we experienced our first tornado warning. It was pretty scary. I would not have even known to seek shelter had Chris (my husband) not called me and told me that we were in a warning.

For those who don’t know, a Tornado Watch means that there is a possibility of a storm producing tornadoes, while a Tornado Warning means a Tornado has been spotted or is strongly indicated on radar.

Anyway, so Chris calls me and says I should empty the boxes out of the closet because we are in a warning. Damian was playing the video game so I could not have known. I turned on the weather channel and the screen starts blinking red and turning blue, saying seek shelter immediately. Scary Stuff. So I grabbed Damian and Brandon and started grabbing stuff i would need. We went downstairs where we spent about 20 minutes huddled together in the closet. It didn’t hit us thank goodness. What I wouldn’t have given to be back where the worst weather was a blizzard!

Damian kept waking up last night with bad dreams about tornado’s. It’s ok though. I am sorta grateful that he understands how bad that can be because I KNOW he will listen to me in an emergency situation. Chris just wants to see a tornado up close, and while i think it might be cool to actually see one, I think I could do without that experience. If I am close enough to see one then I am not far enough away, ya know?

This morning it is said that 3 tornadoes hit ground last night. The Naval Base here in Norfolk was hit. Suffolk was hit pretty bad over by Sentara Obici Hospital. I am not sure who else was hit. Nobody was killed, but there were injuries.

As for us? Well, I am putting together a bag to keep downstairs. Next time something like this happens I want to be able to simply seek shelter without worrying about trying to get water or formula.

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My house was clean yesterday…

It was. Honestly. Don’t look at me like that! Seriously though. With 2 boys running around my house it never seems to stay that way! Even my 6 month old seems to be able to completely destroy my house in a matter of minutes.

Damian is 6 years old. He is a budding paleontologist. He has loved dinosaurs since he was two years old and can probably tell you things you didn’t even know about them! He is allergic to dairy, a chatter box, full of life, and animal lover and he is extremely stubborn! He has also established something of a relationship with anything in my house that exists on shelves. No more does he have to physically move it from the shelf. When he walks in the house, the stuff just throws itself on the floor.

Brandon is 6 months old. He doesn’t seem to have any favorite stuff yet although he does love his big brother! I guess you could say he likes food too! At 6 months old he has moved into 12-18 month clothing. He is about 22 pounds but the doctor says he isn’t over weight because he is also 23 inches in length. Brandon is always smiling so we know he is up to something. It is funny because Brandon doesn’t have to make a mess. He has the uncanny ability to make even the hardest working adult completely destroy all the cleaning they have done, in the interest of amusing a six month old, always happy boy who watches with great amusement!

A few months ago I started writing The Hampton Roads Food Allergy Connection because of my oldest boys allergy to dairy. But I do so like blogging and thought it would be so nice to talk about other things in our lives as well so here I am! I can’t wait to share more but right now Brandon is pitching a fit so i will be back!

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