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the timer

by Shawni

Just like most other people do, we have a timer on our oven.

Except ours is a magical timer.

When it is set, things happen.

The kitchen will be cleaned in five minutes.

The practicing will get done.

But most importantly lately, Lucy will use the bathroom.

At the beginning of this potty training adventure it was tough as nails to get her to actually go. No amount of coaxing and bribing could get her in there. But for some reason, once we started using the timer she decided it had authority. When it rang, it meant business.

Yes, our timer is on the top of my thankful list right now.

I am indebted forever to that magical thing.

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Stephanie August 25, 2010 - 1:52 pm

We used our timer as a potty training help too. It's amazing how engrossed you can get in something and how fast that 30 minutes or an hour can go before it's time to potty again. The timer worked great as a reminder for Mommy!

Jonah and Aja August 25, 2010 - 2:00 pm


The Atomic Mom August 25, 2010 - 2:08 pm

A really good friend pinned a pocket timer to her son's belt loops to go off every 30 mins when she was potty training him. He'd come running, in, "Mom, I'm going off!" And as a school teacher I'd set my timer for all sorts of things. The kids responded to it well.

Amanda August 25, 2010 - 4:12 pm

That is so funny-those timers are treated with a lot of respect by little people. We use ours to signal the length of a time out and they almost see it as another authority figure around here, "Nate, you can't get up yet, the timer didn't tell you to!"

Hi, I'm Hannah. August 25, 2010 - 5:54 pm

What a great idea! Just tried (and failed) to potty train my twins…maybe I'll try this next time I get enough courage to try. THANKS!

Ruth H. August 25, 2010 - 6:49 pm

That is hilarious! Isn't it funny how the most unexpected things just really, really work sometimes? Glad to hear that Lucy continues to make progress.

Amanda August 25, 2010 - 6:57 pm

We use ours so much as well! "I'm going to set the timer. You have 5 minutes to get all the toys picked up." "Timer is set. When it beeps it's your brothers turn." "You're in time out for 4 minutes."

It really does work like magic! (… most the time)

Caroline August 25, 2010 - 9:58 pm

Hi Shawni, I'm a friend of your friend, Erika. I follow your blog and just love the up-beat, inspirational tone. I thought of you today. There was a special on "Charlie Rose". He's an interviewer on PBS. He did a bunch of shows he called the "Brain Series". The one that they re-broadcast today was all about vision and the brain. I thought you would maybe find it interesting. It was originally broadcast on PBS on 11/24/09. I think you should be able to find it on the web. It was fascinating stuff about vision, perception, and the brain. I don't know if it could ever be helpful in the journey with Lucy, but I just thought I'd tell you about it anyway.

Thanks for the awesome blog.

-Caroline Owens

Rebecca August 26, 2010 - 1:14 am

Timers save my life on a daily basis. I seriously think that they should give them away when you leave the hospital with your newborn!

Cara August 26, 2010 - 11:54 am

Timers have been a HUGE lifesaver at our house too. I've got a high energy, spirited three year old who isn't always the best at following instructions, transitions, and fights going to the potty tooth and nail. Here's something funny though: one time we forgot to carry our timer around, so I set my "head timer" (just me pressing my head and saying BEEP!). Then (approx) 2 minutes later, I pretended the timer was going off: "BEEP BEEP! BEEP BEEP! BEEP BEEP!" and my son totally believed it. Now he frequently asks me to "set my head timer" when I tell him it's potty time, time to clean up, time to leave the park, etc. LOVE timers! Can't imagine making it through this age without them!

Webers August 26, 2010 - 8:19 pm

You already know how much I LOVE timers! I'm so glad it helped Lucy with her potty training. Go Lucy!

Raskills August 26, 2010 - 9:09 pm

Oh my gosh, we love our timer! We have been using it all week!! 🙂


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