With three children so close together, I feel like I am dealing with issues with each of them all of the time, no break in sight.

Megan now has issues going to bed and staying asleep, Sarah has her whining and hair twirling to drive me batty, and Katie has obvious sleep issues along with her new attitude that includes a daily fight over everything.  I often have wondered if in the 18 years – well, more than 18 years, let’s be honest – that these girls live under my roof, I will ever get a break from dealing with some issue or another.  And the thought is exhausting!

Yesterday, my husband suggested we go and shop a little at the local outlet mall to take advantage of some deals.  I dreaded the trip but was willing to give it a shot.  Drama ensued immediately when Sarah decided that this was going to be the whiniest little girl day that she has ever had.  In the rain.  On Labor Day.

But we forged ahead.  Megan wanted to be out of the stroller to run around. Sarah could not make up her mind, throwing tantrum after tantrum and our patience was tested to a breaking point. Store after store, running in and out of the rain, one child whining and another screaming.

In the rain.  On Labor Day.

Oddly, however, Katie was just ‘there’.  Blending into the background like I have never seen.  Especially while shopping.  She sat in the stroller when we needed her to, walked when we asked, stayed close and kept her hands to herself.  I would say that she was not feeling well but she was all smiles and sweet and oh so happy.

It was glorious.  For the first time ever, we had a child that was perfectly happy with no complaints.  Instead of having three to manage – poorly I admit – at times, and three to prioritize requests and demands, we just had two.  And then we had this little princess acting as if she were a young, mature adult, making it look like we actually knew what we were doing as parents.

So as we were loading the van with our finds, we spoiled our little 4 year old.  Who acted better than we did at times, shaming us into maturity quicker than anything else would.  We showered her with hugs and kisses and smiles galore.

Because when you have more than one child, whether it be two or twenty, having an “issue” break from one makes things a lot easier.  It made me feel like I had landed in a sweet spot.  A place where all the teaching and parenting and working with her had paid off.  The place where all Mommies hope to land at one point or another.  And despite a tantrum later than night, she could not have picked a better time to land in the sweet spot.

In the rain. On Labor Day.