Lessons I learned from a summer day with the Els

Lesson 1: “There is a 5 second rule. Really. It exists.”
This lesson needs no explanation. But, it was told to me by my oldest right after an organic, gluten-free fish stick fell on the floor and I quickly picked it up, (in less than five seconds, of course) blew on it and handed it back to my three year old who immediately ate it. Done.
Lesson 2: No matter how peaceful things are in my home, my children will always start a game of tag the instant I make a dash for a minute alone in the bathroom.
This one never ever fails. I have to attempt this every day and I can promise you, I leave the room, close the door and the pounding of little feet begins.
Lesson 3: Screaming to “STOP RUNNING!” has zero impact.
Zero. Especially when I’ve just left the room to go to the bathroom. Yelling doesn’t work. The pounding sound of running continues all the same.
Lesson 4: Rewards work.
I’m not saying to bribe your children. Really, I’m not. But, if you want clothes put away and you’re willing to have them play a game after or watch a show anyway, guess what? Ask your children to do it and let them know that when they are finished, we’ll play a game. This works with my kids. At least it’s working on day 17 of summer. I’m going to keep trying this one out.
Lesson 5: 50 minutes of pool time makes for some very grateful children.
I packed a small cooler of ice with 5 water bottles, 4 Apple sauce pouches and a tub of washed blueberries. The Els were ecstatic after this very easy adventure. It’s hard to take four kidsĀ  anywhere. Honestly, it is. But, the reward; the happiness on their little sunscreened faces was totally worth it. This particular adventure wasn’t even that hard and I even did yoga while they were in the Y Childwatch before we went swimming. Win win.
Lesson 6: Be flexible.
It’s summer. We are on vacation. I’m not. My husband isn’t. But, “we” the Els, are on vacation. And some people in this house like to sleep in until 11am. Crazy, right!? I think that was me like 20 years ago. I can’t even remember those days clearly. Strict schedules and bedtime before dark is almost impossible. So, don’t even try. It’s summer. Just go with it.
I’m sure there are many more lessons I’ve learned from the Els. In. A. Day. But, honestly, I can’t remember what I was just doing. So, I’ll leave you with these six lessons. It’s after 11am and the last El just woke up. I guess it’s time for made-to-order breakfast for one. Bye for now.
-El Momma

My peaceful den (confession: it rarely looks like this and only after all of the Els are in bed)

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