Monday, June 15, 2015

why my timer is my best friend.

Let's start off this post with an understatement.

Being a mom is hard.

Oh I know! Let's make it even better.

Being the mom of a threenager is hella hard.

With this, I've come to realize that you can't do everything on your own. The whole "it takes a village" thing is completely true. And in our village, lives one of my best friends, the digital timer. Since he's come into our family (about a year ago), he has proven himself incredibly useful. And not just in the way of letting me know when my cookies are done baking, but in being unbiased and standing firm even when Makai might very possibly be possessed. *insert devil emoji here*

Ok, but for real, the timer is awesome and probably one of my most used tools as a parent. It helps reduce fights, helps us stay firm and consistent, helps us appear fair, and helps me remember that I have something in the oven. Here are some examples of when Timey (the new name I just gave him) has proven the most useful.
  • Time outs. 
    • Instead of a vague time out, I'm able to give Makai a definitive amount of time and stick to it. And on the plus side, some of the anger is diverted from me to the timer since it's up to the timer when time out is over. 
  • Screen time.
    • It's much easier to limit computer and iPad time when the timer is involved. Makai and I can decide on a set amount of time that he gets to play, set the timer, and he's free to use until the timer does off. 
  • When he isn't done playing.
    • If I use the timer to limit screen time, sometimes the timer will go off and Makai "isn't done playing." Using the timer allows me to stand firm and explain that we agreed on "only 5 minutes" and that we're all done. Sure there's still a bit of whining, but there's definitely a reduced amount of arguing. 
  • Bedtime.
    • As I've ranted before, bedtime can be a struggle. Just saying "It's time for bed" almost never goes smoothly. I've found much better luck in talking Makai through any transitions that are about to happen (ex: We're going to get ready for bed soon! It's almost time to take a bath. etc.) This is where my good ol' pal Timey helps out. No matter what Makai is doing or trying to negotiate, I can say "in 10 minutes, we're going to brush our teeth and get ready for bed." I set the timer, Makai presses "start," and we're good to go. 
Of course, Makai is still a threenager and is basically crazy, so fights and tantrums are still a constant, but I think that Timey definitely helps reduce a good amount of them. And even if it didn't, I feel like I can stay more consistent with our methods by having something I can always turn to. It helps me stay firm by keeping to the set amount of time no matter how much tantrum-ing is going on - a minute will always be a full minute. And I feel comfort in knowing I'm being fair because he gets plenty of warning and we talk through and agree on how much time is going in. Additionally, after Timey started showing up, Makai started trying to figure out a way to use him in his own favor.

"Come on mom! Just 5 more minutes! I'll use the timer!"

I haven't decided if this is a good thing yet, but I'll report back when I figure it out. In the meantime, let's revisit this threenager sitch and lightly touch on how insane my son is.

Makai has gotten to a new level of nuts which I can only pray is a completely temporary phase. But what is slightly terrifying is he's gotten incredibly clever and bold. Now when he's angry for reasons I literally never know, he is so much more purposeful in his disobedience. Sometimes, even before I get upset at him, he will stomp up to me, look me in the eye, and try to hit me. OH HECK NO. Or if I to tell him to stop stomping, he'll raise his foot as high as possible, stare me straight in the eye, and just leave it up there. Like he's threatening me. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? It's crazy! He just looks at me as if he's saying

"I'm about to stomp SO hard! Look at me! I'm about to do! I'm gonna do it!"

Every time he does that, I have to fight back my chuckles of sheer disbelief. How is this my offspring? How can something SO mean come from me? Do I do this? I don't think I do this! There is no way! Or if I catch him doing something he doesn't think he should be doing, he'll get mad at ME! "I wasn't doing anything! I just need privacy! Give me a minute!"

I mean.... what?!

Or sometimes, Mark and I will just be sitting on the couch doing absolutely nothing and Makai will walk up to us and just throw a toy across the room. Completely unprovoked! And then there it is. The next 30 minutes of my life is going to be spent fighting with a 3 year old.


According to other sources, this doesn't go away until he's 5. FIVE! Needless to say, Timey will be very much used until then. I've toyed with the thought of having one for each room with how often he's needed. Would that be weird? I guess it might be weird.

Meanwhile, here's what this kid looks like most of the time:

And yes... he's missing a shoe. We take a shoe when he kicks our chairs. 

He ended up losing both. 

Short sleeve chambray shirt - Old Navy

Star Wars tee - Old Navy
Denim roll up shorts - Joe Fresh at JCPenny
Sock - Puma
Car Seat - Britex

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