Monday, September 8, 2008

Use Your Tools: a Timer

The boys and I were visiting friends for the afternoon.  I wanted to leave by a certain time so that I was home in time to start supper and great the Big Dog when he came through the door.  I knew that when my girlfriend and I started talking I would lose track of all time, so I set the alarm on my watch.  When the time came for me to collect the boys and head home, my little clip on watch began to chime and I said, "Time to go!"  Well, my girlfriend could not get over it!  She made fun of me and was silly about how I set a timer to get out of her house on time.


I wasn't offended by her silliness at all.  I was confident in the fact that I was using the tools available to me.  I use timers all the time.  When the boys are arguing over a toy, the computer, or a video game, we set a timer.  When the timer rings, it's time to switch!


This summer, we watched one of my boys' friends.  This little guy has Juvenille Diabetes.  Because of the JD he had to eat at specific times of the day.  I had to count his carbohydrates at lunch, so preparing the meal was a little time consuming.  I was concerned that I might get lost in an activity and not give myself enough time to plan lunch.  I also needed to give him an afternoon snack at a specific time in order to keep his blood sugars regulated.   We would often take outtings in the afternoon, so I wanted to make sure I could remember his snack-time.  I set two alarms on my cell-phone.  One rang 5 minutes before lunch.  The other rang at snack-time. I now had a twice-daily reminder to keep me on-track with our meals.  On my cell, I can set it to ring even when the phone is off, so I was always assured that my reminder-alarm was ever-ready.


I have a watch that clips to my belt.  Big Mac bought it for me for a present a few years ago.  I love this watch, not only for his thoughtfulness, but also for the watch's usefulness.  Of course, I can tell time with it, but there is also an alarm, and a stop watch.  I use the alarm at various times for different needs. When I was visiting that friend I mentioned earlier I set the alarm on my watch to ring when it was time to go!  When we are at a park and the boys want me see who can run through the jungle-jim faster, I break out the stop watch feature of my watch. 


I began my home-making journey trying to follow the methods of flylady.  ( She was an  avid timer user.  She would set a timer for 15 minutes and work in a room for just that amount of time.  When I have a large task at hand, I use this method and set my timer.  I work for 15 minutes and when the timer goes off, I move on to another task.  On days when I have LOTS to get done, 15 minutes at a time is the way to go!


I remember a  time when one of my boys didn't want to use the timer.  Our T-Bone is a justice boy.  He ran to me complaining that Big Mac was refusing the timer.  In a stellar Mommy-moment I just said, "Find something else to do."  T-Bone looked at me and with deep-pleading in his voice he said, "But Mommy, IT'S OUR TOOL!"  Guess what?  We used the timer.  He was right.  It is a tool.


Our timers (and yes, we have many of them) are one of our useful tools.   They're not just for baking any more!  Settle those sibling arguments, with a timer.  Be sure you leave the house in time, with a timer.  Stay on track during the day, with a timer.  It's a tool that will be immensely useful to you.

1 comment:

  1. Love those timers! I never considered it a tool before, though. I suppose it is. I set the timer and tell the kids they have this long to play. I set the timer when I want to take the clothes out of the dryer so they don't wrinkle. I PROBABLY should set the timer when I'm on the computer so I don't get side tracked. I completely loose track of time when I do that.

    Thanks for sharing!