but when I first read Alexander and The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst (as an adult to my children) I recognized my young self in that story.
As a child*, I could be whiny and obnoxious when I was sick or feeling off.
My mother knew I wasn't sick and she was generally not the type to soothingly confront bad behavior. She might give it a try once and then threaten to send offending child to Australia by way of a swift but powerful swat to the rear end.
This is what I have a pretty vivid memory of: she looked at me in exasperation and said, "Well, you just got up on the wrong side of bed, didn't you?" That put me into a tailspin. When my mother was busy with my baby sister I quietly went back up to our bedroom.
There's a wrong side to get out of a bed? How do you know the wrong side from the right side? What side did I actually use?
Well obviously nothing to do but get back into bed and get out again. I remember going back downstairs and telling my mom that I had gone back and gotten out of bed on the right side this time. I maybe was a little confused that she laughed but my bad mood was gone.
* Okay, that's not just a childhood characteristic. I add this in case any of my family members ever read my blog.
Everything is a learning experience.
A Buddhist might say that I learned about impermanence. Our experiences are ever changing.
A developmental psychologist might say that I learned that I had a certain control over my situation. It may have been a magical solution, but I didn't absorb a story that I am helpless and at the mercy of a bad mood.
Ahh, those lessons you have to keep learning through a life time.