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Whose Turn Is It, Anyway?

So the egg timer works wonders in getting my two snot monsters - oops I meant sweet darlings - to switch back and forth between turns, but who gets the ball rolling by going first?

I used to flip a coin (after we'd finished spinning it on the coffee table - what fun when you're three and five!), until the inevitable day when I said "heads or tails?" and they both yelled "HEADS!!!"


"Ok you both can't be heads. Somebody has to switch to tails"

"But Mommy...!!!!" I won't detail the dialogue here - suffice to say it lasts at least 3-5 minutes and reaches unmeasurable decibels.

This went on for a few days before it dawned on me to scrap the coins altogether (much to the disappointment of the spinning fans) and instead use an empty peanut butter tub and scraps of paper with their names on it. Two of each, to be exact.

I make a big production of shaking the tub, complete with goofy Mommy dancing and weird faces. They laugh as expected. Then, (to the sound of an imaginary drum roll), I open the lid, squeeze my eyes shut, reach in and pull out a slip of paper.

Ah ha!!! A decision!!! Live with it. And even though someone is usually disappointed, they do.


Water You Talking About??

I hate to admit that my kids are hooked on juice boxes. I've tried to maintain a strict (some days not so much) policy of one per day, but it's not always as easy as it sounds. Some days Evil Mom comes out and stands her ground, and on other days she's out shopping or something, and second and sometimes third juice boxes get handed out (I'd love to say that I really was away shopping and it was someone else who gave them the JB's, but....) You get the picture.

"Why don't you guys have some water?" (this is me, in last ditch effort mode)

"Whaaaat??? NO!!! We want juice boxes!!" (fyi - they're VERY LOUD)

I have, many times, attempted to give them watered-down juice in cups: big kid cups with no lids, take and toss cups with lids, sippy cups, lidless cups with straws (bubble mess waiting to happen), and any other imaginable vessel that could possibly contain juice.

Yesterday my five year old brought me her plastic tea pot and said "Mommy, can you put orange juice in this for me?"

"Oh my goodness no, I am NOT letting you put juice in a toy..." (screeech) wait a second... she didn't ask for a juice box. I could water down the juice... Hmmm. What to do. Might I even consider this?

"No, honey, I'm sorry. If you're going to be pouring ANYTHING with your tea pot it can only be water."

"Ohhh okaaaay" she sighs, like someone has asked her to do ten pages of Algebra homework (that's coming one day I'm sure... maybe second grade?). I take the teapot, fill it with water, and present it to her and her three year old brother. They gleefully rush off to the living room with it, where they create a tea party on the coffee table. Awhile later they're back for more.

"Mommy we need more water." When I asked them what happened to the water I'd given them, I couldn't believe my ears:

"We drank it!!!"


Taking Turns - what works for us

An egg timer... such a simple device to have such magical power!! Mommy is no longer the bad guy - it's that pesky timer.

It took a few turns but I quickly had my kids trained to accept the egg timer as a deliverer of justice and equality. I think it works because it's visual and tangible, and therefor predictable. They don't need to be able to tell time - they just need that built in human clock that will tell them that the :15 Mommy set for little brother feels like the same amount of time as the :15 that was set for big sister. Fighting solved.

It is so effective a tool that it has almost taken on "Pavlov's Dog" powers... I can make my son hand anything over to his sister by discretely advancing the timer and simply making it ring.

Now if only I could figure out how to get the timer to make them eat broccoli.

The First Post...

...and of course, it's bedtime!! Specifically for my 3 year old (son). My 5 year old daughter gets to stay up an extra hour, although with spring break in effect they've both been staying up later.

Off I go to play Mom... I just wanted to get this blog started. See you again soon!

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