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The baby woke up with poop in his pants, and now there’s poop on my hand. While trying to clean the poop off at the sink, I stepped on a Lego and screamed out loud, and that made my big kid wake up.

I could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

At breakfast the baby got frosted Cheerios from his breakfast cereal box, and the big kid got marshmallows from her breakfast cereal box, but in my breakfast cereal box all I found wasextra fiber.

I think I’ll move to Australia.

In the car on the way to work, a traffic light wasn’t working, and I had to wait to turn. A policeman came and let the cars moving the other directions go, but not me.

I said I was being cheated. I yelled that I was being jipped. I hollered, “If you don’t let me go through this light right now, I’m going to be late!”

No one even answered.

I could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

At work, I liked Deb’s assignment better than mine.

During office time, my computer froze. During conference time, my phone was too loud. During break time, I didn’t have time to pee. Who doesn’t have time to pee?

I could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

I could tell because my outfit wasn’t the best trend anymore. Diane’s was obviously the first best trend, and Kate had the second best trend. I wasn’t even the third best trend.

“I need to put you on a rack,” I muttered to my disheveled blouse. “I hope when I drop you off at Goodwill, someone buys you and takes you all the way to Australia.”

At lunch time, there were two cupcakes in Diane’s lunch box, and a gourmet chocolate bar in Kate’s lunch box, and Emily brought a cinnamon roll with caramel dripping on top.

Guess who decided they were too fat for dessert?

It was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

That’s what it was, because after work I went to the doctor’s office for a flu shot, and it really hurt. “Come back next year, and it might not hurt as bad,” the nurse said.

“Next year,” I said, “I’m moving to Australia.”

As soon as I got home I had to sprint from the front door to keep my kids from fighting and after breaking up the fight, the baby was still crying because he was shoved. My big kid was crying too because she was misunderstood and my babysitter was waiting to get paid, and while I went to the office to grab my checkbook my baby fell off a stool and my big kid drew on the wall and I tried desperately to call my husband to see when he was coming home …

But I think I called Australia.

My husband doesn’t want to pick up the phone anymore.

It was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

There were skinny jeans that needed ironed, and I hate skinnies (and ironing).

There was kissing on TV, and


I miss kissing.

During my bath time, the kids snuck in. During read-aloud time, I got peed on and had to shower again. And because my other pajamas got peed on, I had to wear my holey, stained pajamas.

Ihatemy holey, stained pajamas.

When I went to bed, my kids squeezed in and took the pillow I wanted to use. I had to get up because a nightlight burned out and my big kid bit her tongue.

The cat doesn’t want to sleep on the couch. She wants to sleep on me.

It’s been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

My husband says some days are like that.

Even in Australia.

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst is Amanda’s all-time favorite children’s book. She remembers her mother reading it to her, and Amanda loves reading it to her kids. There’s something so satisfying about the relentlessly grumpy voice of Alexander, and she has almost come to regard him as an alter-ego. Also, Amanda’s husband really is from Australia, but he denies wishing she wouldn’t call anymore. At least publicly.

Amanda Deich is a writer, blogger, part-time teacher and mother of two young children. Her debut novel is a young adult romantic thriller with an understated Christian theme, and she is hard at work on her second. She blogs regularly at, where she writes comically about motherhood and seriously about issues in education, faith, and other topics that are much more thought-provoking and complicated than her personality could ever be. She is crazy about every single kid in her life: the real ones in school and at home, and the ones she creates in her books.

Who is your favorite children’s book alter-ego to help you through a tough day?