Of the many things I was relatively unprepared for when it comes to parenting is the relentlessness of Keeping The Line. Pretty much anyone who knows anything about kids will tell you that being consistent with what is okay and not okay is essential if you want to cut down on bad behavior and confusion by the child. Sounds all well and good, but staying consistent in a changing environment is like trying to drive at 30mph straight through Manhattan at midday.
Having to send the Wee One to bed early last night because she not only breaking the rules, but reveling in her defiance, sucked. Work has kept me later recently and we don't have much time between getting home and going to bed to enjoy being together as a family. Losing some of that time is as much a blow to us as going to bed early is to her, making it extremely tempting to let things just slide. And we have at times, but Here Be Dragons.
So we Keep The Line. As best we can. And hope the long-term benefits outweigh the short-term cost.