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Published: Sunday, November 17, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

With a day of rest, we’re ready to take on the week

I woke up my daughter for school on Thursday and the first words out of her mouth were "Not again!" Then she pulled the duvet back over her head and burrowed down deep.

"Not again …" That's a lot of angst for a 4-year-old waking up to a day full of promise.

Maybe I should reflect on all of the things I ask my daughter to do that are really quite difficult for a preschooler. Every day she has to get dressed, put her shoes on the right feet, eat green things and navigate a complicated sibling relationship with an older brother who may or may not tell her that she reminds him of poop.

It's a rough life being 4.

I ask my son to do difficult things, too. From start to finish, he spends 7 1/2 hours at school and on the bus. Then when he gets home in the late afternoon, the sunshine's gone, the pavement's wet and he still has homework.

Layer on guitar practice, chores, and seemingly (to him) unnecessary personal hygiene tasks, and that doesn't leave much time for Pokemon.

It's a rough life being 8.

And what about my husband? These days he misses the daylight altogether. He drives to and from work in the dark. Then, when he walks through the door, he either gets pounced on by little leeches, or completely ignored by children watching "Johnny Test."

My husband might as well be supporting a family of vampires.

It's a rough life being the breadwinner.

Then there's me, with my first-world problems. I've got laundry to fold, school stuff to sign and dishes that were done for just five minutes. Plus, I need to deal with a container of mysterious leftovers I just found at the back of the fridge.

It's a rough life being a grownup.

So I know what my daughter is thinking when she wakes up and says, "Not again!" If I could wear footed pajamas and burrow down deep under the covers, I would.

Sometimes things that should be easy seem like they are really hard.

Thank goodness there's Sunday, a rest from it all. We build a fire in the fireplace, put some pancakes on the griddle, and spread The Herald all over the table.

My daughter is learning to fight for the comics. (My son usually gets to them first.) My husband reads the front page over a second cup of coffee. I jump to the letters to the editor.

Sunday is our day to make "Not again" become "Let's go again!"

Maybe if we can rest up enough today, tomorrow we'll wake up to a week full of promise.

Jennifer Bardsley blogs at

Story tags » Parenting

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