The best relationship advice I ever received was from my aunt, who cautioned me to choose my battles wisely. It took me years to understand what she meant, and a few more years to put her advice into practice. Sometimes, though, especially when I am tired and sick, I choose my battles poorly.
Last night for instance, at 10:30, after both kids were tucked in bed and lights were out, when Aidan decided he needed his night light. I can't stand night lights. For one, they are a huge waste of electricity - they work their magic, keeping monsters at bay for the ten to twenty minutes it takes children to fall asleep, then become monsters themselves; little vampires, sucking energy all night long. Second of all, I don't sleep well unless the house is completely dark. And third, I had no idea where to find Aidan's night light, or "moon" as he cried and whined from his top bunk.
The night light should have been in his room, but our children are notorious for relocating household items to random places. I had no idea where to begin looking for the moon. I was tired, and sick, and dying to fall asleep in a completely dark house where very little electricity was being wasted. So I yelled at Aidan to stop crying about the moon and go to sleep.
If you have never yelled at your child, you are a saint of the highest order. Pass Go and collect everlasting glory. I am no saint. I yell at innocent victims of night light relocation. Poor Aidan. His cry became a whimper. Then he had an idea - "Mom, I think my night light is on the back porch." I looked, to no avail, but as I was coming back into the house I spied a white cord sticking out from under George's night stand. The moon was found.
The boy was happy.
The mom apologized.
The boy fell asleep.
The mom sneaked into his room and turned off the night light, because some battles are worth fighting. Like the battle to save electricity. But I'll save that story for later.