Sunday, January 24, 2010

Our Own Tot Clock

As I mentioned, the kids have been waking up way too early. WAY. As in Wayne and Garth, Way, No way, Way. I had been frequenting an on line Mommie Forum and found out that I am not alone. this is a common problem.

In fact, it is such a common issue with parents that there is a product designed to help children understand the basic concepts of telling time. Many moms mentioned using an item called a Tot Clock. Tot Clocks are highly praised for helping teach children about time.They use a color system to indicate time cycles. For example, the clock turns yellow when it is morning and it is time to wake up. There is color for all times of the day. Tht tot clock costs fifty bucks so before I plunked down the dough, I needed to make sure my darling angels would be willing to follow the rules.

While I think the original Tot Clock system is great on so many levels, there are not any reviews from moms of multiples. This means that the tot clock is great for SINGLETONS. Can you imagine how quickly my herd of wild animals would have this $50 gizmo destroyed? I would bet that CJ would stay up all night tinkering with the damn thing so that the face plate was yellow all day. Mr. Engineer would hand over a new and improved tot clock by the wee hours of the morning. NO THANKS.

I studied the concept of the Tot Clock and I went out on a basic street fighter limb. I decided to implement the strategy of the Tot Clock only on my own terms. I rigged a small lamp in the hallway outside the zoo, errrr, I mean, children's bedrooms.
I had Jeff install a light timer to the lamp so that it turns itself on at 7:00 a.m. My grandmother used to have one of these light timers to foil the burglars in her neighborhood. When she was out of town the front room lamps came on automatically at 5 p.m. and it appeared as if someone was home. Same timer different purpose.

We have been talking endlessly about the hallway lamp. We explained that all children must stay quietly in their rooms until the lamp is on. When the lamp comes on, they can come out and get us, or go downstairs. If they wake up and the hallway lamp is off, it is too early to get out, and they can read books, do a puzzle or play quietly without waking everyone else up. This method is working. They understand the basic principle and are following the rules. This morning at about 6:44 I heard Natalie open her door, and say, "Not yet, the hallway is still dark." My method is a success so far. I wonder how long my training will take before I can adjust the lamp timer to 8:00?

Tot Clock, Schmott Clock, I just saved us $45 and many hours of precious early morning sleep. Here is a review from a mom of multiples- save yourself the added expense of the real tot clock and hit Home Depot for a lamp timer. There. Done. Good Night Sleep Tight, wait for the hallway Light.


Michele S said...

Good job on the five dollar light timer. Greg still uses those to foil the burglars. Greg and your grandmother.

Katie said...

I LOVE this idea!

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