Monday, October 28, 2019

A Memory

I was little. I woke up and I did not feel good. I don't know why and I am sure I didn't know at the time. I didn't have the concept of or words for "Bad Mood"
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.
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst - Used (Very Good, ex-library) - 0590421441 by Scholastic, Incorporated |Amazon

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.

13 comments:

  1. I love that you got back into bed to leave from the other side. Smart little cookie. I am tired of learning lessons actually. Or maybe I am just sick and tired. :-)

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  2. Well, your mother swatted your rear end as punishment. My father belt whipped me instead. These Korean men are really violent, which is why I did not marry one.

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    1. Seems like you made a good choice in David.

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  3. I love that story, read it to my gr. 7's!
    My mother worked outside the home. I'd be sick, and she'd make me go to school. Back in the day we had a school nurse. I'd go to her and she'd send me home!

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  4. How odd. I thought I was the only one to take the wrong side of the bed seriously. I did the same thing and even today, I exit from the right side. Hey, it mostly works.

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    1. Haha! I thought I was the only one. Maybe we are soul sisters.

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  5. You were far more creative than I was. Mind you, my mom was rarely, if ever, calm in her reactions to my antics. Having 3 children in 3 years was probably part of those reactions.

    Loved that book though!

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  6. Great story. Some days are just terrible, horrible, no good, very bad no matter how you get up. Hopefully we learn not to inflict it on others around us.

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  7. I used to read that book to my first graders. It was fun to talk to them about it afterwards. And yes, I've had those days too.

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  8. A fun memory. Once when I was little and with my mom in town, she got exasperated over something and said, "Oh for crying in a bucket!" I looked and looked for that bucket but couldn't see it!

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  9. I'll bet your mother was really holding back the laughter after you told her you got up on the right side. Hahaha.

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  10. The last three paragraphs say it all. We must work toward those things we can change and accept and adapt to that which we cannot.

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  11. There has to be a poem hidden in your post. Great memory.

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