Looking Desperately For That Corner So We Can Turn
Wednesday, April 27, 2011

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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I won't be picking the winning number for either contest, but you're still welcome to bribe, compliment, or generally kiss my ass if you'd like to win. It won't increase your chances of winning, but it will earn you a gold star in my book.

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