I have recently resigned myself to adding at least 30 minutes to my family's "prep-time" to get anywhere. I had been fighting it for several weeks and have now given in. Although I have an energetic, smart five-year-old boy, he is, apparently, a BOY. This means that unless I demand it, he would prefer that I do things for him. 1. Help him get dressed. 2. Brush his teeth. 3. Make him a sandwich. 4. Pack his lunch. And the list goes on.... Now, however, I have entered the world of an almost-three-year-old GIRL. Despite the fact that she lacks the dexterity of her older brother, she wants to do all of the above, and more BY HERSELF! My patience reserves, which have never been substantial, are at an all-time low. The first time she wanted to get herself dressed, it was adorable. Her little tongue out, she shrugged and shimmied herself into her pants and somehow, even got her socks on...upside down...but on. This ritual is not adorable when the whole family is trying to make it to church on time. The screaming fits of indignity at not being allowed to brush her own teeth are definitely not adorable, either. My much-more-patient husband finally noted "Maybe it would be easier on all of us if you just got her started earlier." So, I'll try it for awhile and see if it works. I'm already wishing for more hours in the day, so I'm not sure from where this extra time will come, but mothers are capable of moving mountains, right? I'll bet that this fiercely independent spirit will come in handy when she's 25.