The Cookie Timer
December 21st, 2011
We had an open house at the parsonage on Monday for the congregation (and some of our neighbors). It was a nice evening featuring some fabulous food, if I do say so myself. Ham and Swiss cheese buns, zesty bean bites, taco dip, holiday chicken salad, and cookies. Lots of cookies. And my mother’s divine homemade fudge.
We wrestled the kids into their holiday finery and they had a great evening, pinging around the house in an attention-seeking frenzy, fueled by the fruit punch they were knocking back in their sippy cups.
As you can tell, we abandoned many of our usual healthy eating guidelines for the evening.
That said, I needed a way to curb my daughter’s cookie intake. Left to her own devices, she would have patterned her consumption after a chain smoker, reaching for the next cookie before the current one was fully chewed.
Thus we introduced The Cookie Timer.
It was really a matter of self defense. I wanted to serve sweets at my party and I needed to be able to chat with guests, refill platters, and mingle without worrying that Miss Mouse was eating herself into a diabetic coma.
The premise of the cookie timer was simple. Josh set our oven timer at regular intervals (I think it was 15 minutes) and we informed my offspring that her next cookie could come when the time dinged. This gave her a tangible way to understand the limitation. If we’d just said “you can have another one in a little while” she’d have nagged us incessantly because that wasn’t concrete enough.
The cookie timer worked remarkably well, with one exception. I happened to glance over and saw her grabbing a hunk of fudge about 30 seconds after polishing off a cookie. “Miss Mouse!” — I exclaimed — “The cookie timer did not go off!”
My too-smart-for-her-own-good daughter gazed coolly back at me and replied — “Mommy, this is not a cookie. This is candy.”