Using a Timer for Over 50 Years

Dear FlyLady,

I have been using a timer for over 50 years. It really does work!

I found the timer invaluable in raising our four children. My claim to fame? I had four children under four and my husband left for his first year long Viet Nam tour when our twin sons were three weeks old. (They are now Army Colonels just as their father and grandfather before them. Our daughters are professionals as well. I’m not too proud!!)

I had to establish boundaries and the timer acted as an undisputed third party that the kids obeyed. Following are some examples of how I used it.
a.. Sit and be quiet until the timer rings.
b.. Read until timer goes off then turn out your light.
c.. When the timer goes off we will leave to go to the ________ .
d.. When the timer rings we will make cookies.
e.. Daddy will be home shortly after the timer goes off.
f.. You can be sad, mad and cry until the timer goes off.
g.. Dinner will be ready when the stove timer goes off. When you hear it get in your seat.

I could go on and on. I used the timer all day and for everything. It was rarely questioned whereas my authority was tested! Looking back, I am not sure they realized I was the one behind the timer or that I adjusted it to lengthen or shorten the time!

When they were teenagers they were well aware of the person behind the timer but continued to heed it.

FlyLady, I started with Pam and Peggy, with the index cards. That is how I kept everything in order while our house was on the market. I think I will always flutter. Thank you for all you do to help us.

Evelyn pronounced EVElyn

P.S. A story you may enjoy. After retirement from the Army my husband ran for a seat in the state legislature. Just as I did as an Army Wife, I felt that I must maintain a certain code of dress and appearance. One morning my husband was in the state capitol, I was sweeping the front porch in my grubbies, and I do mean grubby. A woman drove up, asked for DH, I told her how he could be reached. She said,”Are you Mrs ____?” I said, “No, I’m the housekeeper.” Well, I am! Sometimes when asked if I was related to DH and I didn’t want to get into it I answered “Yes. By marriage.”
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