My last post left off with an annoying child in a grocery store and a study about children being more aggravating than they used to be.

Let's deal with the child first.

His Mom didn't budge. That boy said her name about 200 times between the checkout line and the door, at which point she turned to him and said, "I already told you, 'No.' And that was my final answer."

I caught up with her in the parking lot and (because I talk to strangers) said, "Nice job sticking to your guns, Mom. That's the way to raise a man." She smiled at me and we had that Mother-to-Mother moment that is often only captured in movies on the Hallmark channel.

Now let's deal with that study.

Are children really more aggravating? I doubt it. If you read the study, it's all self-reported data. But a lot has changed in the past 15 years: The economy, which parent stays home with the children, technology and our attention spans. I have a feeling that everyone's stress levels are running a little higher than they should, and children feed off that energy.

What to do about this? Why not take a page from your parent's playbook (thanks, Mom!) When I was little and fairly certain I was about to drive my mother over the edge, she sent me outside to play. (Or to my room to play if it was night or raining.)

And so that is what I'm doing now. My son is perfectly capable of playing by himself with the obscene amount of toys that he has. When he has asked me the same question for the fiftieth time, I ask him to go play in his room, and I can let go of my stress. When we both feel better, we can meet up again and talk about our emotions.

Because, let's face it: We all need a little alone time.

What would you do if you had a whole day just for yourself? Tell me at Sorry, Mom. I didn't listen.

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