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There are very few beings bossier than a
young girl. Which is why it may have been a mistake to tell some
new year’s resolutions to Maddie.

Every year we talk as a family about new year’s resolutions,
discussing what they are – something you’d like to
change about yourself or the world – and ways to implement
them. Last year, I told the girls I was going to work on being more
patient with them, and when I asked Maddie how she thought
I’d done with that she said thoughtfully, “Well,
you’ve gotten a bit better about it. But perhaps you should
choose that one again this year.”

Brian’s resolved to try a variety of
thirty-day challenges – trying something new – or
giving something up – for thirty days and seeing what
it’s like. For January he’s given up caffeine, which is
no easy task for my diet Coke-loving husband. He told the girls
that’s his first challenge, and Maddie promptly entered it
into her “notes” section of her new iPod so she could
remember to “help” Daddy during the month.

The girls aren’t just casting a critical eye on their parents
– they are, to be fair, also taking this on themselves. Cora
and Maddie have both vowed to work on being kinder to each other,
and Cora stated her intention to get better at “using my
words more clearly”, which I think is about the sweetest
thing ever. Maddie’s working on her patience with Cora and is
also interested in the thirty-day thing, though so far nothing
concrete’s come up.

So we’ve all got our resolutions outlined, and lest we forget
them Maddie’s kindly written them down on her list. And
reminds us of them. Regularly.

I have a feeling that this will become old looooooong before


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