One of Mischief's favourite books is Alexander's Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. While the story is funny Mischief often reminds me at the end of the book that it is no fun having a bad day and he should know because yesterday was a doozie!
From the moment Mischief woke up, he made one bad decision followed by another which all piled up into a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. Its Spirit Week at the school and yesterday was beach day. He had planned to wear his brown and orange board shorts with his surfing shirt but when he put them on before breakfast we realized that he had grown more than we thought over the winter. The shorts were micro short and dangerously tight and the shirt, aside from having a horrendously scratchy tag and feeling like 'too slippery' was also so small that the hem of the short wasn't even neighbor to the top of the shorts.
During breakfast Mischief got distracted by a scab on his knee which meant his cereal marinated in the milk for too long and became soggy but there was no more of his favourite cereal so he was 'forced' to eat what was in his bowl. After breakfast he realised that he forgot his lunch kit at school so he had to carry his lunch to school in a bread bag and drink water from the fountain because his juice bottle was also at school.
When he put on his boots he realized that the mitts he shoved in them after school the day before had made the liners wet and cold but he had to wear them anyway because the only rain boots we could find were pink and there was NO WAY he could handle wearing the pink boots after the morning he had had. He decided that it ha been a tough morning and he needed his lucky Yoda hat to make it through the rest of the day but it was no where to be seen. Eventually we found it under the couch and we got everyone to school just in time. As he jumped out of the van Mischief said, "well, at least there's swimming today!"
"Swimming? At school?" I asked
"Yep, its beach day and we're swimming!" he beamed.
"Buddy, I'm pretty sure there won't be any swimming at school today. Its pretend beach day, its way too cold to swim outside still."
"Aww, dang it!" with that he slammed the van door and trudged up the walk way.
I didn't see him again until after school. When the bell rang, I was in the school office and I could hear him in the hallway talking to the Kindergarten teacher and I could tell he was still in a funk. When he saw me he pulled his hat over his eyes and mumbled something to do with 'stupid hat' and 'still a bad day' and turned to walk out of the school.
After talking with him and having some more details filled in by his teacher I understood why hiding seemed like the best and only option for him. Turns out his day was a series of bad decisions. He was inattentive, very physical and kind of hyper and worst of all he sucker punched another student, someone whom he actually likes very much.
As we walked into the house, with his Yoda hat still pulled low over his eyes, he informed me hat he was going to his room because he was grounded for 17 years.
"Why are you grounded?" I asked.
"Because my brain is telling me all sorts of bad things and we shouldn't be with people or get to do anything fun."
"Why 17 years?"
"Cause in 17 years I'll be old, like thirty or something (okay math is not his strong suit right now) and I'll be the boss of my brain instead of the other way around. I did lots of ba decisions today but mostly I can't believe I hit Casey! Arg!" He pulled his hat all the way over his face, slumped to the floor and started to cry.
I picked my little buddy up and carried him to my room. He cried for several minutes, then he calmed down and lectured me about how he need to make better choices and how if he slows down he can see the right thing to do. When he felt he had lectured himself long enough he pulled the blanket up under his chin, curled up against me and turned on the TV. We cuddled for almost an hour, watching Ellen and laughing.
The authoritative side of me felt like I should be doing more to correct his behaviour but seriously, how do you discipline a kid who grounds and lectures himself? And besides, everyone has a bad day every now and then, even when they have Yoda and The Force on their side. I decided not t say anything more and just enjoy the cuddles. When Mr. Awesome came home and found us snuggled up in bed, he asked, "what's up?"
"Just getting over a bad day," I said.
"Sounds like a plan," He said and slid into bed with us.
Maybe the whole day wasn't so bad afterall.