"Mess is robust and adaptable, like Mr. Schwarzenegger's open calendar, as opposed to brittle, like a parent's rigid schedule that doesn't allow for a small child's wool-gathering or balkiness. . ." [NY Times]
This quote is from a New York Times article about the concept of "mess" in one's life, but the wording of this sentence struck me as unfair. . . If you have a toddler in your life, no amount of flexibility in your schedule will be able to accommodate the child's whims because of their unpredictability. We parents try desperately to look for patterns so we can adapt to the child's needs, but the next day or the next week or the next hour, their preference will change. Also, very few people have a life that doesn't, occasionally, mean that you have to abide by someone's else's available or scheduled time -- a family party or get-together, an appointment for a photo sitting, a doctor's appointment. Sometimes, as a parent, you have to say, "We really have to leave now to be there on time."