“I had a bad day, Mommy.”
Those were the first words Alex said to me when I picked him up one day last week. Usually he tells me he doesn’t want to come home because he wants to stay at school. Usually he’ll explain what fun game he was playing with his friends that can’t be interrupted just for dinner and bath time and bed time. Usually, if there are tears involved in pick-up it’s because he would rather stay with his teachers and friends than come home and hang out with his boring old parents.
Apparently, he had a bad day.
The reasons for the bad day aren’t entirely clear, but it had something to do with a fight with his friend, getting in trouble for something he claims he didn’t do, and not liking the snacks they served at school.
Life as a five year old is rough.
“What can I do to make your day a little better, buddy?”
“The only thing you could possibly do to make me happy you won’t do!”
After a lot of coaxing, he finally told me what that only thing that I could do to make him happy is: buy him a new toy.
Clearly that is not the best way to deal with a bad day (although I can’t blame him for the desire), so we brain stormed:
Movie night? No.
Movie night with popcorn?! No.
Playing on the swingset? No.
Going for a bike ride? No.
Taking a walk and looking for cool rocks/leaves/flowers/animals? No.
Changing into a bathing suit and playing in the sprinkler? No.
“Wait! …yes. That would make me happier!”
He didn’t even care that I couldn’t find the sprinkler and could only offer him the hose.