Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst is a favourite reading book of mine and my husband. In fairness he introduced me to it but my love is just as strong. If you haven’t read it you should try it, you just might like it.
In any event, it came as no surprise when the 5 year old told me that he was having a Very Bad day. I helpfully suggested that it was in fact a Terrible, Horrible, No good, Very bad day. He conceded. It most definitely was.
It turns out that somebody had thrown his lunchbox in the bin and after that somebody else had pushed him. If you are a parent you will know that the simple truth of those sentences being told to you by your much saddened child are enough to fuel a fire under your resolve to make sure that nobody ever has a lunchbox thrown in any bin ever again and that no child is ever pushed anywhere at all for any reason for the rest of time.
But in reality there is no way to protect your children from every one of life’s hardships and I know that if you do manage to you are only doing them a disservice. As tough as a playground tussle might seem at 5, the boardroom at 25 is more intimidating and the life skills learnt are invaluable. So with a deep breath I tried to help him deal with his hardships in a positive way.
The following day we had what I would have thought would go down in the history books as a fabulous day, we went to Skyzone and jumped to and from and in and on every kind of trampoline imaginable.
However, in the car on the way home one of his siblings wouldn’t share the water with him and then when he finally did get his hands on it he messed it all over his own lap and all of a sudden this day turned into a terrible horrible day too. “I’ve had 2 bad days in a row.” He announced as if this was the very last straw and his heart might break with the weight of it all.