That night, while I was making dinner, the kids started squabbling over the table setting -- apparently putting on the napkins is the worst of the tasks, and one to be avoided if at all possible. "ENOUGH!" I roared, "ALL OF YOU." The silence that followed was, for the first three seconds, the most beautiful sound I had ever heard. Then I started to feel just a teensy bit guilty. I mean, when I set my mind to it, I can yell LOUDLY.
As we were sitting down to eat, B, who is going on 8 years old, looked up at me. "How was your day?" she asked, with a rather wicked gleam in her eye.
"Bad!" I wailed.
"I thought so," she replied, apparently completely unperturbed by my earlier outburst. With that one little exchange, she somehow brought my entire bad attitude right into perspective. And with that, the bad attitude evaporated.