This morning when Brodie and I were getting changed at the swimming pool we heard an exchange between a mum and little girl a few cubicles up. It was the kind of everyday exchange you hear wherever there are parents and kids getting stuff done. We didn't get to hear what transgression had occurred poolside but we did get to hear the aftermath. The girl was annoying her mum further by refusing to help get her clothes on and as I heard the dejected sigh from the mum I wanted to pull back the curtain and commiserate with her. To remind her that Brodie and I have had similar conversations only two cubicles up on different days. Only I couldn't because I was maintaining eye contact with Brodie so he didn't ask any awkward questions and also because you can't, can you? We are all too busy being smug that our children are choosing today to behave themselves impeccably when a couple of weeks ago we were checking their hairline for tiny budding horns.I have been that woman often, annoyed, harassed and wishing the ground would swallow me up because at least it would be quiet down there right? I am not always the kind and patient mum I want to be. Often I'm grumpy and unfair and probably somewhat unpredictable to your average 3-year-old. It's just another flaw in this character I call my own. No matter how hard you try, there are always off days. When you're not feeling great or you really just don't want to pick up 8 billion Cheerios from between the couch cushions. I don't think that I'm harming Brodie with my occasional outbursts though. If I feel I've been unfair I always try to explain myself and always say sorry. Life isn't always fair and children who never experience that in a familiar and supportive setting are utterly devastated when this truth rears its head, I've found. And I don't take it personally when Brodie lashes out at me. It's good to get those feelings out and to deal with the after together. Most everything can be fixed and most of us don't hold a grudge about a relative or friend saying something unkind if they can laugh at themselves and apologise. The real reason I didn't speak to that mum was because I didn't want her to be embarrassed. I didn't want her to feel I was criticising her parenting or her child. It really hurts when people do that. So if you are next to me in the supermarket or swimming pool. If you are a family member or a stranger. If you have kids or not, please remember I'm doing my best. I'm revealing these flaws to my children because I'm a human being and so they can embrace their own and be perfectly imperfect, the way they were made.