On Wednesdays, my boys attend an all-day enrichment program, so it's just me and L. Yesterday, we ran some errands during the day, including a visit to the library. As I was re-directing her and encouraging her to stay with me I realized how much simpler it is to follow certain parenting techniques when you have just one child to look after.
When it's just L, I have time to patiently re-direct her to another activity or distract her from removing all the books from a shelf. When I'm there with the boys, I have to keep them all within eyesight (or the librarians yell at me. Yes, truly, they do.) so I'm either snapping at the boys to stay close to us, or hurrying her along which makes her mad.
Now, I love all my kids and I'm grateful that they have each other -- but it just made me remember those days of having just one to keep track of and how idealistic I could be about my parenting style in those days!