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One of those Mondays ...

September 8, 2015
By Betsy Bethel - Editor ( , OVParent

Dear Readers,

It is one of those Mondays. I woke up at 6 a.m., before my alarm, feeling refreshed and ready for my hectic day ahead. As wide awake as I was, I figured laying my head back down on my lovely pillow for a little pre-week reflection would be no problem. Ha! I crack myself up. The next time I opened my eyes, it was 7:09! We have to leave the house at 7:25.

Of course, we didn't make it. But having already showered and having a simple, new, run-wet-fingers-through-it haircut, I was ready in a flash. Makeup? That can be done on the way! Clothes? Whatever I grabbed first out of the closet went on my body.

Of course, it wasn't so easy motivating my 9-year-old to get a move on. She has been known to move more slowly than a barge going upriver. Now she's older, though, she doesn't want to make a spectacle or deal with the hassle of walking in late. Her only complaint was that she needed a shirt to go under her scratchy new school blouse. I told her just ditch the new shirt and go with a soft, old (probably stained - but it's going under a jumper!) polo shirt instead. One small fire put out.

But I didn't discover until briefing her on the way to school that she didn't wear the yellow shorts under her jumper that I had set out. In my genius, I figured she could wear those yellow shorts for gym, too. (They have to change clothes for gym this year. Really!?) Unfortunately, she did not put them on, so she will have to sit out gym today.

That fire simply will have to smolder. She was not happy.

As we drove toward school, a twinge of guilt started tickling me right behind my sinus cavity. I want my kid to be happy.

As moms, we try to think of everything, anticipate our family's needs, read their minds. Why do we think we can do this? Who do we think we are? Fortune tellers? Superwoman? God?

I have prided myself on knowing what my daughter is thinking since she was a newborn. I have noticed in the past few years something that (don't laugh) truly shocked me: She and I don't think alike. How could this be? Flesh of my flesh, bone of my bone, why do you not share my thoughts and feelings? How could you betray me?!

Seriously, though, I have only one child, and this practice of trying and failing to read her mind to keep her happy wears me out sometimes. I am sure the more kids you have, the more frustrating it becomes.

But perhaps with more kids, you realize more quickly that you are wasting your time?

As the mom of an only, not to mention a parenting magazine editor, I always feel like I should be a pro at this parenting thing. How can I be so harried and frazzled when there's only one of them?

Sometimes I feel like I am in the Fire Swamp in my favorite movie, "The Princess Bride," where flames randomly shoot out of the ground, keeping me hopping to avoid incineration. Kids don't intentionally set fires (pyromaniacs excluded). They do want to be happy, but we can't be solely responsible for that. We need to give each other the grace to make mistakes - such as oversleeping and forgetting gym shorts.

Happy Monday!



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