September 21, 2007

One of Those Days

When did you last have “one of those days?”

You know the kind. The dog throws up on the newly shampooed carpet. Your preschooler decorates a wall with pilfered Sharpie markers. You load the crockpot at 9:00…only to discover at 5:00 that you forgot to plug it in…

One recent day, Jill, my one-year old daycare charge embarked upon her daily “fussy time” just an hour after arriving. Nonetheless – willing myself to remain calm and wishing for earplugs – I packed her up, along with Nora, the other daycare baby, and my two daughters, determined to enjoy a morning at the park during our homeschool gym class. But, though I’d accounted for chilly morning temperatures, I’d not considered the biting wind. We were icicles before gym even started.

So we abandoned the park. But then Jill wouldn’t eat lunch. And Nora wanted to sing instead of nap. I bundled up my girls so they could actually enjoy time in our yard – and so I might have a few minutes alone – but someone raced in with a question approximately every two minutes and thirteen seconds.

And, then, the cherry on top! When Nora began a particularly loud chant, I scooped her up so Jill would stay sleeping. I plopped her down to change her diaper, and then tickled her belly and yanked off her sweatpants, intending to lighten my mood by using them in a spirited round of peek-a-boo.

Only then did I discover that the usually constipated little girl had suddenly “exploded” in her diaper during her non-nap! Of course, it covered her legs. And her feet. My carpet. And – because of my peek-a-boo zeal – part of it had been flung over my head and across the room, landing in the entryway behind me!

So I did the logical thing. I prepared for a good, long, cathartic cry. Only it didn’t come. The most I could muster was deep breathing – the kind we do in childbirth.

Later, when I relayed the story to my husband, the release came. But not, as I'd anticipated, in sobs. Instead, I found myself reacting in the other healthy, helpful way: I laughed. Long and hard. Until I had to wipe away “happy tears.”

Sometimes that’s the only thing to do with one of those days.


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