Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

One of my favorite stories of all time is Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. If you haven't read it, you really should! Recently I had my own very bad day, or rather, sequence of days. This post is written with thankfulness to Judith Viorst, the author of Alexander's bad day, who taught me many years ago that "some days are like that".

The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

We lost power last night and there was a mosquito in my room and it buzzed in my ear all night and bit my forehead. When I got out of bed this morning even though the power was back on I still didn't see the puppy pee on the floor and stepped in it on the way to the bathroom. My clothes out on the line still weren't dry so I had to wear damp underwear and I could tell it was going to be what my friend Alexander calls a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

At breakfast Ben ate weet-bix and Isaiah ate coco puffs and I picked the cornflakes and there were ants in my cornflakes. My powdered milk was lumpy even though I used a whisk.

I think I'll move home to Florida.

In the taxi on the way to language school Ben and Isaiah sat in the front and I smooshed in the back with the puppy, but the lady next to me didn't like dogs so I had to hold the puppy on my lap and his paws made my skirt muddy. I tried to be friendly and said good morning, but the lady didn't even answer back.

My friend Alexander is right, it is going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

At language school I forgot to make coffee and don't remember anything from the first two hours except how my eyes stung from tired. In class I got my words mixed up and instead of saying, "I know." told the teacher, "I'm god." because tahu and tuhan sound the same and who can remember the difference with no coffee?

At breaktime I checked e-mail and saw a message from another missionary mom. I'd told her I was tired and it's hard to parent a three year old while going through language school and she said she was pregnant and homeschooling three kids when she was at language school. Yeah well that's nice for you, I thought. And I secretly hated her for being able to do what I can't even though Jesus says to love your enemies. I'm pretty sure Jesus wasn't talking about other missionary moms.

I think I'll move back to Florida.

After school we walked home in the rain without an umbrella because our umbrella is in our shipment and our shipment is still in customs. The puppy wouldn't walk in the puddles so I had to carry him home and I smelled like dog and had to have a shower even though all I really wanted was a nap.

For lunch I ate tofu and rice for the 186th time in a row. My fish was dry so I added hot sauce, but I added too much and it burned my mouth and made my eyes water.

It was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

After lunch we called for an update on our drivers licenses and after months of waiting and promises that today would be the day we were told to try again tomorrow.

Yeah well by tomorrow I'll be in Florida.

For dinner I ate tofu and rice for the 187th time in a row and there were mushrooms in the chicken. I hate mushrooms.

And there were grammar drills for homework. I hate grammar drills.

The warm water ran out in my shower and I had to wash my hair in freezing cold well water and the power went off while I was drying off and I had to find my pajamas in the dark. I stubbed my toe in the dark. I hate the dark.

When I went to bed a mosquito buzzed in my ear and bit my forehead. I bet it was the same one.

It has been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

But my friend Alexander's mom is right. Some days are just like that.

Even in Florida.

Hey thanks for reading! Humor and a thankful heart keep me from packing my bags on those very bad days. What keeps you from packing yours? Or are you in the process of packing your bags to move? Those are stressful days! What helps you find peace and gain perspective?

Over at Velvet Ashes this week the discussion centers around the word prompt 'pack'. So head on over and see what others are saying.


  1. Gratitude helps me from packing my bags in Uganda! Thanks for the laugh, and the feeling of solidaritiy! Blessings on you!

  2. Yes, yes. Some days are just like that. Love that you had a sense of humor about it all. And I've definitely been there and done that comparison game, and sometimes still do compare myself to the woman who (in my mind) does more, has it harder, but does it better. That game is such a life sucker!!! What frees me is remembering we ALL have our struggles. We're ALL living our own unique story. My story is mine and hers is hers.

    Here's a big hug for your bad day!!

  3. thanks for being able to encourage the rest of us - even when things are rough! Praying for the kind of day that wipes away the memories with its goodness!

  4. Even the horrible no good days are just that days. Normal which are not so nice...but I appreciate the real and not the glossy I am a missionary so Jesus has it all :)..in reality he does but I forget so easily when dealing with mosquitoes and puppy pee...