Good Days and Bad Days

Bad days are actually good because they make you appreciate the good days, right? Well, yesterday was a very bad day. It’s all relative – it wasn’t SO bad, I guess; everyone was healthy and husband was still employed. But the minutes ticked by and I kind of felt like I was going to have to be checked into a mental hospital by the end of the day. It was all because of Jake.

The day started out fine, but by 8:00 things started to go downhill and just kept sledding. Every single little thing was a battle, the kind of battle that is accompanied by much shrieking, whining, and not-so-occasional sobbing. We’ve all had days like that, right? “Please brush your teeth” is answered by an ear-shattering “NNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOO” and the flopping of a small body to the floor. The response to “Let’s get you dressed” is the turning of a small body to steel so that you practically have to peel pajamas off and then the limbs start flailing and the body goes limp so that it is almost impossible to get clothes on without sustaining some sort of injury to either the dresser or the dressee. And that’s just the beginning. The rest of the day was all “I am NOT going to be nice today”, or “I don’t want to do ANYTHING”, or “I am not going to play, or read books, or eat my supper”. It was all so tiresome, and completely irritating yet boring by the end of the day. Eleven hours straight of this was kind of tiring.

Why is it so hard when our kids have a bad day? I mean, other than the obvious. Listening to nails scratching a blackboard or maybe a bagpipe screeching for an entire day seems to be an apt analogy.

I think it’s especially hard because it makes me feel like I’m doing a bad job. For those of us who have given up careers to be at home with the kids, the kids’ accomplishments can seem like our own, and when they are doing well, we are doing well. It’s wrong I know; I know that the kids are individuals and separate from us, but that is really how it feels sometime. So when they have a bad day, it can feel like something I’ve done or haven’t done. It’s silly, really, especially when it’s obviously one of those “I got up on the wrong side of the bed” days. Everyone’s entitled to have a bad day once in a while, right? Thank god for wine.

Anyway, this morning I woke up super refreshed thanks to a (rare) full, uninterrupted night’s sleep, and Jake was his usual sunny self. I breathed a sigh of relief that his bad day wasn’t the result of impending sickness, or that he was actually in need of an exorcism, but just a bad day.

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