It’s so much fun having a daughter in preschool. When my boys were in preschool, they would come home with news like this: “We played in the big room. We had pretzels for snack.”

That’s IT?! You were there for 2.5 hours and that’s all you have to say?

But my daughter? She gives the full report.

The first few days of preschool, she kept telling me the same thing. “Ally was mad again today.”

“Really?” I would ask. “Why was Ally mad?”

“I don’t know,” my daughter would reply. “She was just mad.”

A few more days into the school year, she started telling me the emotions of others in the class. “Carter was happy, and Cameron was sad. Lanie was happy!… But Ally was mad.”

“Wow!” I was thinking. This girl really has her finger on the pulse of the classroom. “Does she have her own Lucy-inspired psychiatric clinic over by the play kitchen, too?”

Finally, I got to the source of her intuitive knowledge. Her teacher has a chart.

That’s right. When the kids come in each morning, they find their name tags and place them on their emotion for the morning. They get to choose happy, sad, mad or excited. My daughter is the queen of all things social and loves her time away at preschool, so I asked her where she puts her name tag.

“Oh, I’m happy,” she said. “I always choose happy. (Except one time I chose sad when I was the line leader, but that was just because I missed you.)”

“Way to go, sweetheart. When you get to preschool, I hope you always choose happy.”

I have to admit, I’ve been wanting to hang my name tag on grumpy a lot lately. It’s winter in the midwest, and I don’t do winter. (It’s supposed to be the worst winter in the History of the Universe, as if the usual eight months of winter here weren’t already bad enough?)

I love to sleep and taking two-hour naps repeatedly all night long is not sleep. (Thankfully, I get to see my super cute bald girl every time I wake up, though.)

I’m stir crazy. We have six people living in a small space. The laundry keeps piling higher and higher. We have crumbs on the floor. We have a pile of snowpants, coats and boots the size of a couch blocking the door. And when the house gets really, really messy, I start to break out in hives. (OK, not really. It just feels that way.)

I’m doing my best to stay on top of the homeschool situation, but not feeling very good about my teaching ability. Because, did I mention, I need a nap?

I’m pretty sure that putting my name tag on the grumpy face isn’t going to help matters. But it’s so tempting. I know what I need to do. And I know it all starts inside me. In my heart and in my mind. It’s all about where I choose to focus.

Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

I wish I were naturally more like my daughter, who wakes up almost every morning with a smile on her face, bounces into my bedroom and chirps, “Good morning!”

But I do get to choose.

Life is short. Choose happy.

**

And speaking of happy…

I want to wish a big happy birthday to one of my favorite commenters. Happy Birthday, Laurel! You are officially fabulous!

Even though I haven’t met Laurel in real life, she has been a huge encouragement to me in my blogging effort. She is a faithful reader and takes time to say something nice, which I greatly appreciate!

I hope you have an awesome day on your Big 4-0… I mean 29th birthday!

Happy Day!

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