Thursday, February 12, 2009

Rotten days

Among the valuable life lessons I want to teach my children is this:

Some days are just rotten.

Tuesday, for instance, was a rotten day.

It started off badly, with my oldest son waking up the entire household at 6:30 a.m. by screaming very loudly. Although it was only a half-hour earlier than we usually get up, being awoken so abruptly threw everyone off. The kids and I were cranky all morning.

Just when they seemed to be calming down, it was time to go to school. My son is enrolled in a homeschool program that offers various optional workshops throughout the week. Tuesday is Spanish, at noon, which means we should leave the house at 11:30.

As usual, it was closer to 11:40 when we began walking away from the house, me with a headache and the tired kids with their whiny complaints. My daughter, in the stroller, began taking off her shoes. The boys lagged behind me on the sidewalk.

As if auditioning for the role of Worst Mom Ever, I angrily snapped at the boys to hold on to the stroller handle, one on each side. NOW! COME ON! and told my squirming daughter to CUT THAT OUT.

Then I launched into a tirade about how we now had to walk really, really fast COME ON, HURRY UP! because (pick up shoe) we, once again, had left the house too late, and how come we couldn't ever WILL YOU JUST HANG ON TO THE STROLLER FOR CRYING OUT LOUD! leave the house on time to take a nice leisurely walk to school and my head hurts so bad and I should have taken something for it before we left but then we'd be even more late (pick up stocking cap) QUIT THROWING YOUR STUFF ON THE GROUND! and why are we always running late?

"Maybe we need to get up earlier," suggested my oldest.

Tirade continued: "Get up earlier! We don't need to get up earlier! You might recall that we all woke up bright and early at 6:30 this morning. The thing is, it doesn't matter how early we wake up. If we are supposed to leave the house at 9:30, we leave at 9:40, and if we are supposed to leave at 12:30, it's 12:40. The problem is my brain seems to have some sort of malfunction making it unable to predict the amount of time it will take for us to get ready. You would think I would have learned this by now, but nooooo, it seems like every time, I underestimate how long it will take, and then we're speedwalking to school COME ON QUIT LAGGING BEHIND OR WE'RE GOING TO BE LATE!"

"Maybe you're just tired," he said.

"Well. Yeah. You might be right about that." End of tirade.

The point is, some days are rotten and you might as well just accept it. I could be wrong. Maybe there are some people who never have bad days. If you are one of those people, please, I seriously do not want to hear about it. Because where I come from, a yucky day every now and then is inevitable. That's what I told my son on our walk home Tuesday, as he was dragging his feet, whining to ride in the stroller and insisting that he was about to collapse.

"You're just really tired because you didn't sleep long enough," I pointed out, unable to resist making reference once again to the fact that he had woken us all up. "I don't really feel like walking home either, but if I just sat down on the sidewalk, we'd never get there. So, I know I have to just keep putting one foot in front of the other until we're home."

Which is pretty much exactly how you get through a rotten day. You just keep putting one foot in front of the other as the minutes tick away. Then you go to bed as early as you possibly can.

And the next morning, you get to start over with a brand new day.


Nichay said...

I was reading this story about a toddler that only got two hours of sleep a night, because something was wrong in his brain. And after he had a surgery done he was like a different child. Moral of the story...If we dont get enough sleep it makes for a crappy day. LOL Which as a mom, the only time I get to be alone is at night and then the next day I pay for it dearly. But Im sure you know all about that. :)

Ruth said...

Nichay, I know exactly what you mean! I was trying to focus on getting enough sleep, but then I started feeling deprived of time to myself, and getting behind on everything. So last night I had a good sugar buzz going and stayed up till 3 a.m. watching Scrubs reruns and organizing papers...luckily, I got so little sleep that instead of grumpy I'm just sorta loopy.

Meaghan said...

Thank you for outing yourself as a Haver of Bad Days. The lack of sleep does it to me too, every time.