Thursday, June 27, 2013

A terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day

Have you read the children's book, Alexander and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day? Poor Alexander, everything imaginable goes wrong, nobody will listen to him, and nobody wants to help him. Yeah, well, last Saturday, we had one of those on Oakdale Place.

During the week, I'm home alone with Shiloh. Since I quit my job a few weeks ago, Josias has continued to go to daycare, before we are off on our summer holiday. So, I still haven't quite mastered the art of making the weekend run smoothly with two kids under three in the house.  I mean, truly, IS there a way for one woman to manage the naps of an infant when there is also a rambunctious preschooler in the house? 

The morning started at 5am when the baby woke and wouldn't go back to sleep. Although his squeals were of delight, they woke Josias. The day beginning an hour and a half before Mama would like can only lead to heartache.

Lately these early wakings, which vacillate in cause between Josias and Shiloh, have been making for a sleep deprived and VERY cranky Josias. Some mornings are nothing but crying. Crying to get his way, and when said way is given, crying because it was. Um, okay? That's the illogical thought process and emotional roller coaster that is a three year old.

Right, so breakfast didn't go terribly well. Next, we hop in the car, and as Josias says, "drive around in circles (accompanied by corresponding circular motion of the hand)," so Shiloh has a prayer at some semblance of a morning nap. It actually worked. Josias read his Curious George tome and Shiloh slept for forty-five minutes. Not too shabby, if I do say so myself. I was feeling pretty skilled in the mothering department.

But then, perhaps due to cockiness, it all went to H-E-double hockey sticks in a hand basket. It just fell apart. Josias wailed about everything; did everything I expressly asked him not to do; and pooped without a diaper on, which not only involves cleaning him, throwing away clothes and cleaning the floor and shoes, it also involves a lot of - you guessed it - crying.

In essence, Josias was doing everything a three year old is supposed to do. Especially in light of the fact that Mama was not paying him enough attention because little brother was teething and needed to breastfeed a lot.

It probably goes without saying that afternoon naps where a disaster. By this point, Mama was at the end of her little rope and was racking up charges of conduct not becoming an Attached Parent.

We were miserable. I knew I had to do something. If I only knew what. What to do, what to do? 

Going back to the book, Alexander is not much help. His day just keeps getting worse, and when he asks friends for help, they ignore him or make fun of him. I had pretty much used up those strategies already. 

By the end of the book, Alexander goes to his mother for comfort. She tells him that some days are just like that and hopefully, tomorrow will be better. Truer words were never said, but I am nothing if not tenacious, so I wasn't ready to give up.

What to do, what to do? By George, I've got it! GO OUTSIDE!

Although the getting ready process took at least five times longer than it should have, with Mama barking out demands in a disrespectful manner that were summarily ignored by Josias, we got there.

We arrived at the park with water sprinklers and Josias blossomed into the curious, funny and awesome guy that he is. Shiloh was as sweet as ever. Mama even displayed a few of her finer moments.
We did it!  We flipped the script on our terrible, horrible, awful, no good, very bad day.  Alexander and his mama could learn a thing or two from us!

Next time I see us going down this path, I will employ the back to nature strategy before 4pm.  Who knows if it will work, but we're gonna give it a shot.

Postscript: As I reread this post, I realized that the strategy was far less important than the fact that I didn't give up, no matter how late in the day. And what I also know, is that I have my mom and dad to thank for that.

What do you do to turn around a bad day?

Photo credit:s Jessica Wilson and author

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