Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Ten Minute Timer

My daughter epitomises the saying "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree". Unfortunately I am the tree she fell closest to.

She is messy, easily distracted, has a temper and can pout for Australia. Hello mirror.

Today has not been a joyous day. I awoke from a nightmare. It was the night before the wedding, I was at dinner with family and the clothes were in the machine and we had to travel 4 hours to a city starting with C (in New Zealand, for goodness sake) and we hadn't booked a hotel to stay at, a celebrant, sent any invites or got wedding rings. As the washing cycle was still not over, I suddenly hit panic.

Great way to wake up. So I stumbled out to the living room and decided to make English muffins - because isn't that what you do then? Yeah, right.

As I was banging about in the kitchen, suddenly it became apparent that the reason that I was so grumpy was it is the lead up to Red Wednesday, and its never a happy place to be, in my zone. Of course, if I had invested in some Evening Primrose Oil as someone suggested when I moaned about it in the past, may not be an issue.

Knowledge isn't control, however, and as much as I know I am easily irritated and should handle every situation delicately it doesn't stop the universe (and by extension, my loved ones) from just poking that little bit harder to watch the reaction.

So, no Evening Primrose Oil preparation and my daughter pushed one too many of my buttons without realising so I rode her about some scissors situation or other and she exploded and disappeared into her room with a bit of a dramatic flourish.

We sorted that out, but it has been the tone of the day. Considering her best friend is having a birthday party at 2.30 and I have the keys to the car, she is having to learn a few lessons that were as painful for me at that age as they are to her.

So currently we are using the 10 minute timer technique. Its amazing how much good can be achieved in 10 minutes - I got this blog written, she got her room cleaned and the world is a MUCH BETTER place.


Jayne said...

Ohhhh yes, I remember those times.
The Spouse offered me a collar, leash and a muzzle one ended in tears (his, not mine) lol ;)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for commenting on my blog - just getting around to replying to comments! I really appreciate your words of support.

Debby said...

My son could throw some prodigious fits. He's 21. Know what? He still can.

Alison said...

I know it is not funny.. But I find your description highly amusing!
"Hello mirror" - Priceless!

MissyBoo said...

I am sure children sense the day approaching, and push all the extra buttons just to see you CRACK! Or is it that they just carry on as usual but you CRACK way sooner??? I was pondering that myself last month... I came to the conclusion its the first statement

Debby said...

I was remembering. When the kids were all at home, and I was a harried mom trying to keep up with everything, if everyone was hyped to do something, before we left, we always did a '10 minute tidy-up'. We'd set the timer, run to separate rooms and we would all clean like crazy for 10 minutes. With 3 children in the house, and a motiviated mom, those 10 minute tidy ups made a huge difference. I still do that sometimes. 10 minutes in each room, clean like a wild woman, move on to the next room, usually within an hour, the house looks pretty squared away.

Tracey said...

You've just reminded me to go and take my evening primrose oil capsules!

I like Debby's 10 minute timer idea. Must try it.

(Meantime I got some stuff done by two out of three of my sloths using the old 'carrot' trick. (ie. you can only have friends around/go to the movies with a friend IF you....).

Maude Lynn said...

When I try the 10 minute timer, I spend 9 and a half minutes telling my daughter over and over that the timer has started!

Melody said...

I must try that 10 minute timer rule!

Melissa said...

I've got a mirror, too. Drives me totally insane.

And the timer technique has saved our lives more times that I can count.

jeanie said...

Jayne - it deserved tears! Mine offers to take a fishing line and come back when it is safe - a suggestion that is not always welcomed with the glee he expects.

Guera - you are welcome.

Debby - so long as you can too, there is no problem.

Alison - unfortunately said (sotto voce) a little too often around here. Sometimes by a very unwise V to a hormonal woman.

m+b - absolutely. I think people do get affected adversely even if they are not the ones with the hormones surging.

debby - that sounds like a fantastic idea! Stealing it. Well, when we have 10 minutes spare before we walk out the door and aren't already running late.

Tracey - ah bribery - where would motherhood be without it?

mama zen - I found having a task to "race" her on is enough added impetus.

melody - do - you can start with smaller amounts for smaller children.

Melissa - makes you wonder about your own mother sometimes, doesn't it?

FirstNations said...

well hello!
you want 'close to the tree'? oh dear. my daughter...forget it. tizzy fit? take a random notion? crank herself up about absolutely nothing? to say nothing of hormones. yeah, she eloped.

Anonymous said...

I'm an if you don't do this I will remember and won't be able to do that fo ryou kind of mother.
Respect goes both ways.