Sometimes even I, oh wondrous, loving, dedicated mother that I am, start to lose patience with my little clan. It happens. I'll say something like, "Margarete, I'm at the end of my rope!" and then I'll follow that with some outlandish threat that we both know I'll never in a million years follow through with. (One standby is the threat to send her to Antarctica to live with a new penguin family. I don't really remember how this one started, but it's become a standby. Maggie's therapist will be hearing all about it one day I'm sure).
Well, I collect myself afterwards, and one day, not too long ago, I said something kind and loving (or at least, not annoyed) to one of the kids after an episode of impatience. And whichever dear, sweet little child it was looked up at me and said,
"Oh, did you get another rope?"
And I said, "Huh?"
And she said, "You were at the end of your rope. Did you get another one?"
Ha! I guess I did!