Insanity is being held at bay right now by the power of the microwave timer.
I use the microwave timer to tick off the minutes of time-outs whenever we need them. Whoever needs them. And when we got home from a full and fun day out in the hot sun just now, it took me only a few moments and 3 separate meltdowns (yes, I had one of them) to surmise that we all were in need of a time out.
No one is in trouble (try convincing the tender-hearted, dramatic, sobbing three year old of that). It's just sometimes a good idea for everyone to have personal space.
My kids apparently don't believe in personal space AT ALL. I am the quintessential mother of young children, which means no quiet time. If I take a bath, I'd better have a bathing suit on for privacy's sake. If I need to use the restroom, I only close the door these days because I probably should stay in the habit for when I'm out in public. Because it takes my children 0.3 seconds to figure out I've left the room, and they find me. They ALWAYS FIND ME.
So... The clock ticks down these precious remaining moments, and I've already sent Drew back to his room twice. "Until the timer goes off, bud. Don't come out until the timer goes off." This last time, he slammed the door behind him hard enough for the walls to shudder. I'll go remedy that response in about 4 1/2 more minutes. But I WILL enjoy the waning moments of my quiet time.
(And by "quiet", I now mean TWO tender-hearted, dramatic, sobbing children in their bedrooms thinking they're in trouble).
**NOTE: It should be made known that the 10 minutes set on that microwave timer allowed me barely enough time to write the above post. It took another two weeks to hit "publish". Please keep reminding me that someday I will cherish these days... Last night the microwave timer was set for 60 minutes - ha!