Things my children have recently taught me:
A) "Clean" is relative. My standards have changed regarding cleanliness, and I'm okay with this. I suspect if other people aren't, they will just not come over here much.
B) There will be poo.
C) Swimming pools in the summertime NEVER get old, and are SO MUCH FUN!
D) Walking outside is less preferable to simply standing in the doorway with the door wide open, with nary a thought for flies, bees, or cool air-conditioned air entering or escaping.
E) Summer evenings in the backyard NEVER get old, and are peacefully satisfying.
F) Dinosaur-themed birthday parties with balloons, cake, and treat bags are wildly pleasure-inducing for four-year-olds.
G) Summertime is really, really strenuous for moms.
H) Sometimes getting a mid-day babysitter for Jack and baby so Mom can take the other boys to an afternoon movie is totally worth it.
I) When someone pours water in the sink of the toy kitchen and adds Swedish fish, the results are not appealing.
J) Driving through at Arctic Circle for cones of an afternoon NEVER gets old.
K) Date night is life-sustaining.
L) Janet the bus driver is a welcome sight for both Jack and Mom during four precious weeks of Jack's summer school program.
M) Everybody needs a break sometimes: Henry at Grandma's, Charlie with a friend, Jack at school, Truman during nap time. Mom and Dad wherever and whenever they can finagle it.
N) There is something very physically and psychologically refreshing about venturing into the mountains and away from the valleys.
O) Febreze's Hawaiian-scented sprays are making the post-poop house a little nicer to live in.
P) Shop-vacs are sort of destroying my sanity, even while they boost Jack's mood infinitely.
Q) Kindly neighbors who notice Jack streaking through their houses and then attempting to leave with their shop-vacs, but who don't let him actually make off with said appliances and who don't really get all bent out of shape over it are really SO FABULOUS.
R) Having a ten-year-old is lots of fun. I'm getting excited to see my kids get bigger.
S) Pancakes and bacon in the morning (every morning) are the key to one kid's heart.
T) Capri Suns and SpongeBob GoGurts in the fridge are the key to another kid's heart.
U) Chips, chips, chips, and Dino nuggets are yet another boy's joie de vivre.
V) Littlest brother wants every food, except rice cereal, and he wants it NOW people!
W) Savory moments, like that lovely interval between children falling asleep and my reluctant bedtime, are really so nice.
X) Summer reads are really so enjoyable. This week: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, and Dandelion Wine.
Y) Hoses in the hands of young children NEVER get old.
Z) I can do this. Particularly, if I have a big soda within reach.