Pavlovian

PAVLOVIAN: of or relating to Ivan Pavlov or to his work and theories; being or expressing a conditioned or predictable reaction; automatic

My kitchen timer is the parenting tool I depend on most.  I use it to indicate when it’s time to put shoes on for school.  The timer announces the start of rest time.  I use it as a neutral mediator for fair turn lengths.

The timer is my greatest ally.  It’s not me who is announcing nap time – it’s the inanimate beeping being above the stove.  The timer helps to avoid a lot of arguments and keeps us on schedule.   It also helps me avoid getting distracted and missing important things I’ve promised.

From Son and Daughter’s perspective, the most exciting thing the timer indicates is Wild Kratts.  Wild Kratts is their favorite cartoon.  They sing the theme song and are anxious to share new animal facts after every episode.  It comes on a 4pm.  Conveniently, that is also when rest time ends at our house.  When I put Son and Daughter down for their afternoon rest, I set the timer.  When the timer goes off, it means that rest time is over and Wild Kratts is beginning.  That 4pm timer is quickly followed by the patter of feet running to the couch to settle in for 30 minutes of cartoon bliss. 

I didn’t realize just how strong the timer/cartoon conditioning had become until the stove timer beeped this morning for something legitimately kitchen related.  Daughter yelled “It’s Wild Kratts time!” and ran to the couch.  Boy was she disappointed!

 

Older “P” posts you may have missed: 

Pace (in which the afterglow of my mini-sabbatical meets the bright light of reality); 

Pachyderm (in which 5 year olds debate the enduring nature of preschool promises);

Panic (in which Son’s vesovegal syncope removes years from my life expectancy)

Predictable (in which I consider purchasing a goat or a B&B to “mix things up”)

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