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Looking Desperately For That Corner So We Can Turn

Alexis has been in a bad place lately. I don't know if it's just a 5-year old being 5, if she's just trying to bust up some boundaries with a little kicking or screaming, or if it's because she's in the midst of a crazy-wicked growth spurt. Can growth spurts be to blame for brain malfunctions? I don't know.

What I do know is that her mouth has disconnected completely from her smarts, a fact which has landed her cute butt in time out more times than I can count. She's been driving sarcasm without a license, arguing just for the sake of arguing, and pretty much as cranky as a old lady who had her garden gnomes vandalized.

It has been the exact opposite of fun. Especially the part where she's been waking up more than a newborn and throwing Misery Parties in the middle of the night.


I long ago gave up on the "sleep in your own bed" thing. It was a waste of time, especially given that odds are Alexis isn't going to be sneaking into our bed when she's in college. It'll work itself out, I figure. Still, I reward the kid when she makes use of her super-adorable little twin bed. She gets some happy words, a couple of hugs, and a hole bunch of "atta-girls."

She eats it up. But not enough to completely change her ways.


After a solid week of getting maybe four hours of sleep per night, I was fed up. Alexis *needed* to stay in her bed for a night or I was going to lose my mind. I talked to her about it and told her she at least needed to try. Please. And thank you.

She promised she would, right after she was done being a complete jerk about pretty much everything.


The alarm went off at 6:00 this morning. As I thrashed an arm over to the night stand to turn it off, I realized something was weird.

I was alone.

There was no short person somehow stretching herself all across the entire king-sized bed.


There was no sign of the Demon Child until half an hour later when she came skipping down the hall, fully dressed and cheerily proclaiming, "I stayed in my bed all night!"

I did a proper job of congratulating her, not just for staying where she belonged, but also for getting dressed without making me want to jump out the window. That hadn't happened in a while.

"Now go brush your teeth, please," I said.

"Yes, ma'am!" Alexis replied.

I stared at the back of her head, full of suspicion and shock.


Later, at dinner, Alexis was in a big hurry to finish eating so she could go outside and play with the neighbors. She practically inhaled her meal, which is something I didn't even know she could do. I've always thought she was programmed to chew each morsel at least 500 times. That's what she normally does.

"Momma, may I please be excused?" she asked once she was done eating.

I stared at her in disbelief.

She had been polite and good the entire day. Exceptionally good even.


As we sat on the couch together watching what would turn out to be the last Penguins game of the season (::SOB::), I thanked Alexis for her good behavior the whole day.

"You're welcome," she said. She continued on to explain that she was going to be nice tomorrow and the day after that and the day after that and the day after that. She said, "Being bad wasn't any fun."

I *SO* agree with that. It definitely wasn't any fun.

Here's to hoping she really has turned the corner.



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Reader Comments (13)

It's the age. That equilibrium/disequalibrium thing. When they are being stinker butts is usually when they their brains are functioning on overdrive, learning concepts at lightening speed. This doesn't leave room for remembering how to behave.
I remember when my kids were that age, it was an every other day thing. I knew I could count on them to be cranky and ogres the day after they were angels. It's just what they did.

Alexis is SO polite, and adorable. :) Good job, Mom!

April 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDina

I went through the whole sleep battle with my oldest, so I feel your pain. She had phases where she would come in our bed every night, and then phases where I would think she''d finally turned the corner, only to go right back to coming in our bed again. She'd have such long spurts of coming into our bed, that when she'd have a night in her own bed, I'd wake up in a panic wondering where she was.

She's finally outgrown that need, thankfully, and just comes in on occasion when she has a bad dream or there is a storm. Hopefully Alexis will turn that corner soon!

I'm glad Alexis decided that being bad "isn't any fun." Can she come and tell my girls (and maybe all of my students at school too)? H

April 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMomexperience

I'm sending you E. Whatever voodoo magical vibes you cast upon Alexis would be greatly appreciated. :-)

April 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJayna @ Yankee Drawl

I surely hope the turn is happening for you. I'm hoping for one over here too with my almost 4-year old. Cuz WOAH.

April 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterElaine

It has GOT to be the age. Miss Kenzie has been doing it all the time recently. I have to stop and remind myself continually NOT to rip her head off when she is pulling the annoying act. (Her new favorite phrases? "I'm not telling you" and "I'm not doing it!")

Hopefully things will settle out once we get into a routine with daycare and preschool and life again (blast you new job for messing up things! but how I love thee paycheck *sighs*)

April 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMackenzie's Momma

I remember those days! Just when you think you have it all down and all is rolling along smoothly they try and spread their wings a little more and test the waters. You have to adjust they have to adjust. The hardest part I found to being a parent was how much to let go and when. That doesn't seem to change. Blake is in college now and that is completely bizzar! At this age you have to let go and let God! And pray you raised them right.

Hang inther girl! They are so worth it.... most days! lol Your lil angel is so full of life. Its a joy to get to peak into your lives. Thank you for sharing. :-)

April 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJackie

Sleep isn't an issue with Bear, but attitude/obedience/using common sense has been lately. I have also been contributing most of it to a growth spurt - he's tired ALL the time. I'm so glad to hear Alexis turned the corner. Enjoy it while it lasts!!!

April 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRobyn

So now I'm terrified for age 3 and age 5!

April 28, 2011 | Unregistered Commentertehamy

@tehamy--No need to fear. This has been two weeks of sassery and buttheadedness. Three was a WHOLE other sort of drama. Five is (mostly) fun.

so are you happy now that you got an entire night of sleep with no elbow to the face?

April 28, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterhello haha narf

p.s. i won't tell alexis that being bad is actually tons of fun. secret is safe with me!

April 28, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterhello haha narf

Oooooh, that sneaky look makes my knees wobble and I'm not even near the danger zone! Like I frequently tell Gracie: "Use your powers for good, please."

April 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKatie in MA

Five is a brutal age. Cute as little bugs. And they learn to lie like nobody's business. Five is the age of lies. Big time.

You're right on with the the growth and behavior. Poor little things fall apart when they hit growth spurts or learn new skills. Even my teenagers do. That's why God made them cute. So you won't kill them.

April 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFlea
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