Saturday, August 06, 2016

Surviving Summer

Eli's day revolves around screens. Every second of his life not spent in front of a computer or a TV is spent in front of me asking to be on the computer or the TV. It drives me bonkers. I am such a supporter of kids being active, playing, using their imaginations, enjoying outside, just being kids in general. It kills me that Eli holds himself captive to his fixation on all things electronic. 

We had a functioning schedule while school was in session, but with summer in full swing, I knew I had to do something provide Eli with a clear picture of when we would be doing screens and when we would not. I also wanted to provide him with the opportunity to be in control of when he could be on a screen and for how long. I wanted to take away the question, "Mom, can I play computer?!?"

Enter the ticket system. Enter the most brilliant idea I've ever had without ANY help from Pinterest, thank you very much. Here's how it works: Eli and Carson can earn tickets every day. Each ticket = 10 minutes of screen time. They have 12 designated ticket earning activities they can do each day. They have to do the blue tasks every day before they are allowed to do any screen time, but as soon as they are dressed, have cleared their breakfast and made their bed, they are free to do their screen time whenever they want without even asking. They just hand me their tickets and I set a timer. 

It's been AWESOME! Eli caught on to it right away and was highly motivated by it. He was also thrilled with the control I was giving him over his own screen time. He knew if he didn't have tickets, he didn't get screens. He STOPPED ASKING ABOUT SCREENS ALL DAY! It's been the best thing ever for our summer survival. 
Lincoln never finds himself alone on a bike for too long before a certain brother plops in front of him and holds him hostage on a little joy ride, giggling mischievously as Lincoln's nervousness grows. 
We went out to eat one night and every boy insisted on sitting as close to Jeff as possible. 
The boys went through this brief stint where they were obsessed with hiding from me. They were cracking me up one day at the park when I would only see flashes of them darting behind rocks and through bushes the whole time we were there. Can you spot Eli?
Eli is typically a man of few words, but one evening he was a little chatter box going on nonstop about all his great plans for the future. Including how he was going to be an electronic maker and make robots and he would have a few babies, but his robots would take care of his babies for him, and Jeff and I could live CLOSE to him but definitely not in the same house when he's older. It was funny to get a glimpse in that little boy's mind and hear all about his 6-year-old hopes and dreams. 

Then a ball flew into our garden box after the boys had just had a bath. Eli said, "Oh, I know. I'll make magic feet to get the ball." He then rounded up these two toy gardening tools we have and created some makeshift stilts to keep his feet clean while he waddled through the garden. 
Here's a little boy that could stand to worry a bit more about the cleanliness of his feet. This kid is such a climber! That little foot is always searching for a perch to give him a hoist. 
I love the words Lincoln has chosen as his first words. Among Boo-Yeah, Boys, and Dog, another one of the first words he uttered was when he had biked himself out into the middle of the road and I said to him, "Lincoln. Get back on the sidewalk." He calmly looked up at me and uttered a very exaggerated, clear, and unexpected, "Whhhhhhhyyyyyyy?"
My other favorite things he says are, "Where'd it go?" Sounds like wa-di-go? And one day I found him sitting on top of the table, on top of my computer. As soon as he knew he was caught, he looked at me and smugly said, "What?"

He also says, "Watch" for various reasons, including: 1) If he's about to do something he thinks is cool or 2) If he's about to do something he knows is naughty. 

Lincoln was working on growing a mouth full of teeth the whole month of June, which meant he found comfort laying on our bed every morning while I got ready. One morning he fell asleep which was funny because none of my kids have been the type to sleep anywhere other than in their own beds, so it was a surprise to find he had quietly put himself to sleep in my bed. 
We made a little trip down to Southern Utah for Baby Helen's baby blessing. It was a beautiful day and we're so glad we could be there. 

We had visions of getting all the cousins together for a great group shot, but the kids had other ideas. 


Rebecca said...

I still love your brilliant screen time solution!

Eli's magic feet cracked me up.

Kim said...

I, too, love Eli's magic feet. And Lincoln's foot coming through the chair back onto the table.

Cute picture of Lincoln on his bike sitting in the middle of the road. What a little character.