Thursday, March 10, 2005

Egg Timer at Night Time.

I recently incorporated an Egg Timer into the kid's nighttime routine. It has been helpful for setting time limits on kitchen cleanup and nighttime story hour. The kids have been whining slightly less now that they know that they are "On the clock".
But the timer has had an added benefit that has been much more helpful for me. It has acted as a ticker of mindfulness.
You can actually hear the seconds of your life ticking away as the egg timer makes it's decent towards the bell. This tool has helped me over the last few nights to realize how precious the few minutes before bedtime can be.
Bedtime can degrade into a routine of telling a few stories and shouting the kids into bed. With the timer I become more aware of how I am spending the time and try to tell the best stories that I can in the time allotted.
Last night the kids and I reflected back on the trip we took to the Portsmouth Children's museum. The museum has story hour and they told the Japanese story of the faithful dog Hachiko.
Hachiko book
The kids had a great time remembering the story and talking about the moral. They asked me the meaning of Loyalty.
"It is when you stay with someone no matter what." I said. "For Example: I will never leave the two of you."
"You leave for work." My oldest replied.
"Yes, but I come home."
"Mommy is more loyal, because she stays with us more." She replied again. "But you were very loyal on our vacation to Florida."
"Thanks." I replied.
I milked every second on the timer. We had a great dialogue and went right off to bed.

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