The No-Good Day

In the children’s book by Judith Viorst, Alexander had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. My day wasn’t quite that terrible or horrible or very bad; it was just no-good.

It went something like this:

I roll out of bed and realize I have only a half-hour to wake up my boys, get ready for work, feed boys (and dog), sign homework, pack lunches, find missing soccer socks, take one boy’s temperature, send sick boy to rest on the couch, cover him with a blanket and fill him with medicine, find a bandaid for a boo-boo, drive to school, say “I love yous”, drive back home to finish getting ready, walk to my job, get stuck talking to a Chatty Cathy on the way in the building, and arrive to my office 30 minutes late. I take a deep breath.

Boss says, “We have a lot to do today,” which translates into: “Why are you late? We have way too much to do for you to walk in 30 minutes late and now I’m irritated and need you to know that I’m getting uptight about preparing for our upcoming events.” I smile and tell her it will all be okay, we’ll get it done after I tend to my first task. Coffee. I walk by BossBoss as I’m carrying my coffee pot to fill with water. She ALWAYS sees me making coffee and is convinced I have a serious problem. Thankfully, she laughs as she sees what I’m doing.

After I brew my pot of coffee, Boss says “make sure this gets finished”; I drink a cup of coffee. BossBoss stops by the office and says she needs something in an hour. Lady who is not my boss but works for BossBoss says, “That project we thought was finished is actually not finished.” This is bad news because I hadn’t planned on working any more on that project.  Boss overhears our conversation and says, “Sorry, but this other thing is a priority and you need to get this finished now.” I drink more coffee, check e-mail, drink more coffee, start shaking because I had a Pop-tart for breakfast… and too much coffee.  I put out minor fires, get to the projects everyone needs, try making copies, “try” being the key word here, as the copier cuts off my paper, blurs my text and leaves lines in the middle of my documents. I sigh. Loudly.

I go back to my desk. Boss asks how the priority project is coming along. I tell her it’s fine but what I really want to do is bang my head against the wall at this point because I’m being pulled like Stretch Armstrong in all directions. I check my e-mail and see that my name was not drawn for the Colts tickets. I pretend I’m happy for the winners. Thankfully there’s food in the workroom so I don’t have to skip lunch like I so often do. Today it’s chips and delicious homemade salsa and vegan cupcakes that, to my surprise, are fabulous.

I go back to my office where the stress level is causing the barometer to rise. I notice I missed a call on my cell phone. It’s my sickly son. I call him back and when I ask if his brothers are home, he tells me that they aren’t allowed to walk home without him. Uh oh. It’s an hour after I should have picked them up. I call the school. They’re in After-Care. I drop what I’m doing and run home, a few blocks away, to get my car and pick them up. I take them home, check on the sick son, and head back to work to finish at least a couple projects. I notice I miss another call on my cell phone. I listen to the voicemail. My fourth son is waiting at school now, since his soccer game is over. Soccer game?! Yes, I was supposed to go to his soccer game! I gather my things, tell my boss I have to leave and hope that staying the extra two hours will appease her at least for now.  I run and  jump into my car now in the work parking lot. While driving out of the lot, I cut a corner too sharply and drive onto a two-foot high cement curb/wallish thingy. The sound is horrible. I open my door and check for damage. I can’t see any, and I’m late, so I pull away, scraping the bottom of my poor, old Suburban, just praying that I don’t leave the transmission or any other -mission laying in the street.

I pull up to the school to face my sad-looking son. He plays the emotionally-damaged-by-my-ADD-mom’s-craziness part so well. He tells me he scored a goal. I feel even worse. I ask questions. He becomes animated as he recreates the play for me. He forgives me. I buy him Taco Bell. They forget to give him Fire sauce. They always forget, he says. I turn around and get the damn Fire sauce. We go home. Another son has a fever now. I call my children’s father and ask him to get them drugs. He calls in an antibiotic for both sick boys. I drive to CVS. They don’t have the prescription filled. I wait.

When I get home, I step over the clean laundry that has yet to be folded and feel something wet underfoot. The dog has peed on the white uniform shirts. I hate him. I think about bad things. Bad things I could do to the dog. My cell phone rings. It’s my sick son from the couch. He needs water. I get him the water and his medicine. I give my other son his medicine and send everyone to bed.

I try to go to sleep early. I can’t do it. Too much on my mind. From sunrise to sunset, I’ve been on edge. I call a friend. No one answers. I call another friend. No answer there either. I would call another but I can’t take any more rejection. I realize I am lonely. Not just alone, but really lonely. And overwhelmed. Since my husband left, there are days when I feel like I’m drowning under the pressure of parenting, housekeeping, work, and all the other details of life. I feel tears coming on and I really don’t feel like crying. I just want to stay irritated. Angry. Discontented. So I distract myself. I write on my blog about my no-good day. It helps.

Don't let the cuteness fool you. He's no-good either.

Categories: Uncategorized | 5 Comments

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5 thoughts on “The No-Good Day

  1. Oh, biggest of hugs to you! Did writing about it make it any better? Sometimes that helps me. I will say a prayer that your tomorrow is better.

  2. Jenn

    I so love reading your blog. I love your honesty and found myself smiling, laughing a bit, being frustrated along with you and a little sad knowing you were sad. Thank you for sharing your “no-good” day, it’s nice to know that other people have them too. Those days when NOTHING goes your way. But, I know you know, there are “all good days” and those are what make it worth it – no matter what. Hang in there – you are an amazing woman, mom, friend, writer and employee. It is hard darn work being that amazing all the time! 🙂

  3. Lisa Santee

    Certainly makes you want to move to Australia! I continue to pray for you, friend. Keep persevering! May the Lord give you an extra measure of grace to help! Love you!

  4. Kate

    Oh, Lynn. I just love you. You are such a fantastic writer. I just about started crying right along with you after reading this one. It’s actually nice to hear that everyone has no-good days — we can all commiserate in our misery…and then rejoice when we have the really fun days. Hang in there! xoxoxo

  5. Lynn,
    I just started to read your blog post. I have adult ADD and it is ruining my life. I have a husband, but often times feel alone and sad, very sad. I have no friends really and that is to related to ADD. I feel like if people really knew me they wouldn’t want to be my friends so I beat them to it. I don’t feel like I fit. I have 3 children and am unemployed and the stress of it all makes me want to crawl into a whole. No one knows that when I am alone I cry. I cry from frustration, from failure as a mother, from worring about not having money, about all the bill collectors that call I stopped answering my phones and about life.

    I know how you feel when you say “you think bad things” I feel so negative all the time. My son is 10 and in 2nd grade was diagnosed with ADHD and he is such a struggle and now it is rubbing off on my 6 year old daughter. He mostly is so defiant and I can’t cope when he gets like that. I start to yell at him and he yells back. He has no problem now getting in my face and raging. I am to blame it is my fault. I showed him this is how you react to situations. I can’t control my own self and now he can’t either. It is bad Monday – Thursday because there is homework to do and that is usually what sets him off. I am at the end of my rope. I am losing hope that I have not served him well and it is only going to get worse and he will be a troubled teen and who knows what else. Thanks for listening.

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