A Series of Unfortunate Events

There is a children’s book titled Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.  Alexander knew it was going to be a bad day when he woke up and realized that he had gum stuck in his hair. I never read it to my children, because I like to keep their literature a little more upbeat, but I thought of it this morning.

My clue should have been when the alarm shrilled us to wakefulness at 5:30. Gabe got up to go to work (18 hour shift) and came back into our room to tell me that the kitchen door was open and the kittens had slept on the couch. “You might want to check for cat poop when you get up. Also, you shouldn’t use the upstairs toilet today. It seems to be plugged and I can’t open it with the plunger.” I groaned, rolled over, and snoozed until my alarm at 6 o’clock. After fortifying my soul with 1 John, I fell asleep again. A few minutes later I heard conversation in the kitchen, a loud discussion about what stinks?!  When I got up, there was a distinctly catty smell and suspicious tracks all through the kitchen where Rita had frantically tried to wipe poo off her feet after innocently stepping into a pile.

There appeared to be nothing else to do except to break out the big guns Lysol wipes and set to cleaning. I mean, nobody else was volunteering. Just as I finished and set the trash bag outside the door, I heard Alex yelling that Rita spilled chocolate milk in the living room. Two infractions of the rules right there… the pouring of the milk on her own as well as taking it into the living room. So we got a bucket of water and my handy peroxide/lavender cleaner and scrubbed away. Addy had been industriously digging thumb tacks out of my utility drawer, so I put her into the highchair to keep her out of trouble. There are no straps that restrain her unless they have a 5 point hitch. Sure enough, she did a header and needed comfort. Her diaper had soaked through her clothes, so I soothed her and dressed her all nicely for the day before I went to get dressed myself.

While I was behind closed doors, I heard the sloshing of water in the hallway. Apparently Addy thought dumping a bunch of clean clothes into the cleaning bucket, then dragging them across the floor would nicely take care of the extra water in the bucket. Her cute little outfit was soaked. About that time someone flushed the toilet.

It felt like a conspiracy. It really did. I might have said something like, “May the Lord preserve the next person that makes a mess!” And then I think I whimpered and fixed a cup of tea and prayed for the Lord to preserve the mother from too hasty reactions. Because sometimes you just know it’s going to keep coming at you. The day, that is. If you could just snap your fingers: “Janitor, please remove this!” and wave your arms imperiously while you step outside for a minute, it would be so much easier to stay calm.

Last week one day Gabe was helping me clean up the house. He was truly astounded at the flotsam and jetsam around and under and on top of the couches. The girls started dragging some stuff, papers and books, back into the living room before we had even vacuumed the floor. I heard Gabe mutter, “Where is that custard you made? I need custard!” And I said, “See, that is why homemakers gain weight! They have to chew something before they hurt somebody.”

I am making no apologies for that tablespoon full of Nutella that I indulged in when the kids weren’t looking.

12 thoughts on “A Series of Unfortunate Events

  1. LOL… you would think the unfortunate events would at least spread themselves out over a couple of days instead of all in one:) Was this not the day your decorated a cake too?? Many joyful blessings on your day tomorrow!:)

    1. It was. We decorated a cake (at naptime!) and it actually turned out well! (I entertained thoughts of cooking up a batch of salted caramel today, but I didn’t dare. Nutella worked almost as well.)

      1. And I know who put nutella on your mind! *pats herself smugly on the back. “They have to chew something before they hurt somebody” true. so true!

  2. Dorcas… I feel like i can read this and FEEL it too. I just would have had to add ” and i gave them each an assigned seat on the sofa, with a book, and said in a very loud voice “DON”T MOVE” until i get this mess cleaned up (and reagain my sanity) Isn’t is really weird that this will actually be FUNNY a few years from now? Blessings on your day.. hope its as peaceful as this one was frusterating:)

  3. I was amused. I know, at the moment it isn’t funny at all, but the way you write, I couldn’t help but chuckle and be sympathetic at the same time. And for the record, I would have considered the Nutella to be a good energy snack and not even classed it as an indulgence:)

  4. The good thing about a “bad” day like this is that it makes it so easy to spot a much better one on its heels.
    Very ironic. My husband annually reads the children’s book you reference to his junior high class, and just yesterday was the day he chose to do it for this term!
    Until recently, I never knew why he used this expression, “Some days are like that… even in Australia.”

    1. I didn’t know that either, Linda, until somebody on Facebook quoted the Australia bit too. I just skimmed the book, never owned it. (We would love to meet your husband. 🙂 )

  5. All I want to say is, “Why hasn’t anyone sent me Nutella?” No, I’m kidding! I’m so glad you write about days like this because believe it or not, we do forget this stuff! Cheering for you from Honduras!

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