This is a little tribute to one of my kids favorite funny books,
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.
Since I recently shared one of the best days of my life, I thought it would be okay to share one of my bad ones too. Gratefully, there was no permanent harm to anyone, just a bad day. I wrote it out all in good humor and to remember the irony. If I laugh at myself, then maybe I can forget all the embarrassment. I do apologize for crying in all my stories.
Yes, this post is long.
The actual day felt like an eternity.
My tired eyes awoke to three pimples bigger than the rising sun. The busy day before had left me mountains of laundry, toys, and dishes to conquer. I tried to start sorting out my day.
Cracking eggs, dipping bread, and scrambling for books and shoes were all set to a redundant tune of a song Chase had written about having surgery. "Be careful what you wish for," I told him. He kept singing. I could tell this was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.
As we sprinted to school, he still kept singing the surgery song. Oh, how I looked forward to that being stuck in my head all day!
I kindly asked the little songwriter to please not sing that in class all day. He wouldn't want to get in trouble for disrupting class (or sending teacher to the psych's couch, to boot). He frowned. I felt bad for spoiling his good mood.
Sommer got out at the curb and Chase wrapped his tentacles to his seat. I could feel the laser eyes boring into me as I sat in the car line- not moving in orderly fashion. I gave a smile, an apology and lots of encouragement to my Chaser. He didn’t budge. I got out of the car, still sporting pajamas, bed head, and remember the pimples? Yes, they came too- without a stitch of make up to even pretend. I physically removed the boy from my car, whispering positives in his ear.
"But you said trouble!" he cried. "No, no. I just meant IF you disrupt the class. But, I know you are smarter than that. You will be awesome. It is going to be a great day!" But really I could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.
"But you can't leave me!" He cried. "School is too long to be away from you!"
"Chaser, you love school!! Once you get in there, you will be busy and have fun. You'll be home before you know it!" I ushered his frown and pleading eyes into the school with all the pride a mama can get when she looks like a hobo in a sea of properly dressed children and adults.
I think I'll move to Australia.
Chase gave me one last look as I left him in class. You know, the one that says,
"Don't you love me at all? "
I thought of talking to the office staff, but vanity won out as I made a beeline to my car instead. I decided I would call until I remembered that the day before my phone bit the dust. No phone! So, I said a prayer.
At home, I slathered some cream on my poor complexion, threw my bedding in the washer, and finally was going have some breakfast. I ate three bites of french toast when there was a knock at the door. My bright- eyed (and dressed for the day) neighbor was standing there with a phone. "The school called and said Chase is having a hard day. They wanna know if you can come down." She said.
I washed off the mask with a hot tears and cold water. I threw on jeans, Braydon's flip-flops, and a ponytail. Livvy and I sprinted to the school for the second time that day.
The counselor and I spent the next hour and a half reassuring Chase, and giving each other the condensed soup versions of what we understood about Chase’s situation. I was a little mentally and emotionally drained when I left and Chase went back to class.
I took Livvy straight to preschool, an hour late. As I pulled in the driveway (hungry), a neighbor stopped and talked to me about dogs and football
(I think) until I had to go back to get Livvy.
Little Livs needed extra time to finish her painting so we worked on that at preschool until it was time for her weekly dance class. Just minutes to stop by the house were all we had to get her dressed. I did get some good reminders of all my housework that sat completely neglected too. Livvy had eaten good snacks at preschool but, I had no time for even a quick lunch. I grabbed her a spoon of peanut butter but forgot one for me. I was having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day and I couldn’t even call and tell anyone.
After Livvy's dance class, It was time to pick up kids from school. An employee working in the car line, ever so kindly yelled out that my son was in the office.
"He's been in there all afternoon. They want you to go in."
Thank you, kind sir, for announcing that as loud as you could in front of all the parents, I thought.
I like keeping it real.
I like keeping it real.
I sprinted in the school for the third time that day, but I really wanted to go bury myself in the sandbox. I bet those people hate the site of my face.
Again, with no phone or forewarning, I was anxious and sick at what was going on by that time. For the next two hours, we discussed again how to lessen Chase’s tears and frustrations, while my own were building.
My confidence was dwindling-- wondering if I was a good enough mom to meet my child’s special needs. Days like that, it’s easy to feel defeated.
It was after 5 pm when I walked out those doors.
And locked myself out of the school.
A real problem when I realized that my kids were all reading in the school library.
For the next half hour, no one heard me knocking, but at least it started raining.
When the kids came out,
Braydon told me, "I'm late for dance."
"I know. Let's go." I said.
"I also have parent teacher conferences tonight too. Right now actually." he said.
"What?? Tonight? Now???" I asked.
"Tomorrow" I said, "I am going to Australia."
Although, by this point, I’d have been slap happy at a Motel 6 in the ghetto. (With a large Slurpee and a lawn chair of course.)
I took the younger kids home. Sommer was going to babysit and make PB&Js.
Wade had a big project at work and was going to be home late.
I pulled our open top jeep in the garage as fast as I could, but got soaked in the rain and by sitting on the wet seats.
It was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day!
I rushed Braydon to dance and went straight to his school. I stood cold and wet in 7 different lines to talk to his teachers for the next two hours. All great reports, thankfully, but really I was more interested in the m&ms and sprites some teachers had at their tables. :)
I still had not eaten all day, except three bites of French toast, and it was almost 8:00 at night.
On my way to pick up Braydon,
my windshield wiper tore apart and I could hardly see to drive in the pouring rain. At the dance studio I ran to the door, still wearing Braydon’s flip-flops, and I slipped into a big puddle of slimy water.
My ego could have done without that.
I was wet, cold, starving, thirsty, exhausted, hurting and hopeless.
This seriously felt like the most terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.
We got home around 8:20. Wade was just pulling in too. I collapsed in his arms and would have stayed there forever, except he brought home pizza. :) (My hero)
As we put kids to bed, Chase cried for a while. I wrapped my arms around him until he felt better and fell asleep. But, I felt awful.
I cried, No, Sobbed when I noticed I never had a chance to dry my bedding all day and that it, like me, was soaking wet and cold. All I wanted was to climb into bed in warm blankets and let that day be over! I threw the bedding in the dryer and sat with my husband and cried some more. He comforted me as I told him what a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day it had been.
It really was.
He said some days are just like that.
Even in Australia.
And possibly at the Motel 6 too.