When you begin the day by hitting your daughter in the face with the metal edge of her Razor scooter, you sorta expect that things can only get better. I mean, maiming your child has got to be the low point, right? That sort of thinking only leads to trouble because the Universe sees this as throwing down the gauntlet. The Universe is all, "Really? You think that's all I got? Ha!" Then, the next thing you know, you are in a clutter house, awash in a sea of clutter up to your shoulders and you think, "Well done, Universe." If you are wise, you say nothing more. If you are me, you think, "Universe? Bring. It. You heard me, bring it!" and the Universe is happy to oblige. So, you get to work and find new cases and a million voice mails but you are up to the challenge and you smirk confidently. It's the smirk - oh, how the Universe hates smug. The thing that puts you over the edge is never the thing you imagine putting you over the edge. You figure it will be an annoying co-worker reading aloud from the Bible or a stern talking to from your supervisor or an argument with your partner or a call from school. You never expect that the microwave will be your undoing. Who could predict that someone would warm up an entree that smells like they are microwaving a wet dog? But there it is - a pervasive smell of wet dog not three feet from where you are sitting and the microwave hums and the smell builds to an odiferous crescendo and you begin to think that time is standing still because - OH FOR THE LOVE OF GOD HOW LONG CAN TWO MINUTES LAST?! As you gasp for air, you shake your fist and choke out, "Well played, Universe! Well played!" and just like that - the microwave stops and your co-worker takes out her food and it's a small cup of noodles and you want to ask her if there is, by chance, a teeny tiny wet poodle in the cup but you don't because you've given up. You gather your things and head home. Once there, you think that your daughter's first soccer practice will surely erase the bad juju of the day. She's excited and gets ready all by herself. She poses for pictures. She jogs around the house and makes tough girl faces in the mirror. You smile and think, "This is going to be great!" You've forgotten all about the Universe but it has not forgotten about you. You head to the park and your daughter does pretty well for the first part of practice and then something happens and she's crying. She's crying about her ball and the frustration of the day wells up inside you and you fight the urge to scream, "There is no crying in soccer!" You have no compassion. You do everything to get her to go back to practice but she refuses. You ask your son for help and, at first, he says all the right things and then he gets frustrated and gets mad at her. It's a Dysfunction Parade and you are the Grand Marshall! When practice is over, you walk home while your daughter cries and your son sulks. The kids are hungry so you take your frustrations out on dinner and drink a glass of water and you can feel the Universe smirking. It's the smirk - oh, how you hate smug. So, you take a deep breath and go to your daughter and say, "I am so sorry that I was not the parent you needed me to be tonight" and you mean every single word. She looks at you, wipes away her tears and says, "It's okay. Next time, you'll be better" and you will be; you know that. You celebrate your daughter's first soccer practice with cinnamon toast all around and you know that you won this round. It wasn't pretty but you won. ETA: Check out the new Lesbomatic iPhone app. Yeah, I'm pretty proud of myself.