Mama Bear and the Very Bad Day

The book that I would like to recommend today is one that I read to my second grade students years ago when I was a teacher. It was a favorite of mine that I would pull off of the shelf whenever it seemed like everything was going wrong in a day. It helped to bring levity to a mood that was weighted down by layers of unlucky stuff happening. The book came to my mind yesterday as we were sopping up the two inch high pool of water spilling out from underneath the kitchen sink when a bracket suddenly gave way. Had this been the first hiccup of the day, I would not have thought about my favorite children’s book. But this waterfall on the hardwood floor took place two hours after an emergency call to the gas company had to be made because of a gas leak detected on the side of our house (by our air conditioner repairman). I would not have imagined my day to include such inconveniences, but maybe the jackhammering of the neighbor across the street at 7:30 am was my clue. Yes, this day somehow continued to go downhill. As we were ringing out the sopping wet towels to set in the sun to dry, the puppies went running through the yard, getting their paws nice and dirty. Then they jumped all over the cream colored outdoor sofa. I am going to stop right here with this day of mine and get to the book I am recommending.

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, written by Judith Viorst and illustrated by Ray Cruz, is the book I thought about yesterday. It was first published in 1972. Over the years it has been adapted into a tv program and even a movie. But like most storybooks, the original is my favorite. Alexander’s day is filled with bad things happening, and the long title of the book is repeated. Then Alexander says he wishes he could move to Australia. It continues until bedtime when his mother reassures him that “everybody has a bad day, even in Australia.”

This is true. We do not typically post our bad days on social media, we get through them somehow and then a new day begins. Koda and Summer have soiled the outside furniture, I will clean it (now that my water is turned back on). They have chewed up some special pillows, I will sew them. Stuff happens. That’s life. If you are not up for the mess and cannot show a little flexibility and resilience then do not get two aussiedoodle puppies or have four kids under the age of eight.

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