Because I have created two little monsters. Some days... um weeks... um months... please dear lord don't let it be entire years. I keep thinking my life is becoming a segment of Bill Cosby: Himself you know, this one ... My wife grabs a yard stick... holds it like a samurai warrior... and announces that the beatings will now begin by saying "I HAVE HAD... ENOUGH... OF... THIS!" And these three brain-damaged people have the nerve to looked surprised!

The child who had mommy talking out loud to herself last week was the little one. You know the one who truly believes she is a PRINCESS. Really, we built the child her own CASTLE in her room, what the hell did we expect, right? Make no mistake I take partial credit (hey there's a perfectly fit and involved father in the picture too!) for the issues we are dealing with.

See the first child. She listened, she followed the rules. I counted to 3 and she responded. Not that she didn't, or doesn't have her faults too. I have to keep reminding myself she wasn't the angel I mostly remember. There were many a times she was wailing with her nose in a corner. * However the little one? There is no punishment she won't withstand, no toy or privilege she won't give up. She CAN NOT be bribed... um motivated to do anything she does not want to. I believe the politically correct term is strong willed child. I am praying this will serve us well in the teen years and she will not do anything just because everyone else is doing it. Hey, a mom can hope that somehow this will turn into a good character trait!

Oh and to top it off the child barely eats and doesn't need much sleep. She seemingly subsists off milk and Nickelodeon. So when all these factors are stacked against us our usual stance with eating and bedtime is to give an inch, because really it's just easier than the fight. Now let me say I don't mean we do this with everything. I choose my battles very carefully with her. The problem has become that our giving an inch in the beginning is sometimes turning into her taking a mile over time and it becomes too much. Which is why Tuesday night mommy was a raving lunatic.

See we have been letting her take a toy and book into bed with her for awhile now, because without them she comes out roughly 317 times between bedtime and 9:30pm to tell us how not sleepy she is, how she needs a drink of water, her foot itches, she has to pee, she wants to hear different music, she needs a tissue... or any number of imaginary ailments (my friend said her 5 year old told her she couldn't sleep because her toenails hurt, apparently we are not alone in this war against sleep). Here's the thing we know she's not tired at bedtime, but she needs to wind down and by 9:00pm she needs to be sleeping in order to be up and not cranky for school. Hence the allowance of books and quiet toys.

Where was I? Oh yeah, back to Tuesday. She kept coming out asking to take another toy and another book up to her bed. See she sleeps on top of the castle in a loft bed. Which is great for extra storage space, but hard for mommy to access. After approximately 873 rounds of "Quit Getting Out of Bed" with daddy I decided maybe taking away the goodies already in her bed would get her attention. So I grabbed a step stool and daddy climbed up her ladder and we threw everything on the floor as she cried and screamed. All the while I was mumbling to myself and I sounded much like a Bill Cosby quote.

Anyway, Wednesday after school I made her help clean up the mess we had deposited on her floor and purge some toys to make room for everything down below because the castle turrets had been used to store stuffed animals until then. Since that night we have allowed 2 books which come back down by the morning. And I'm proud to say the plan was working quite well... then last night she got up to get a drink. I promptly told her she would have no tv in the morning because she didn't stay in bed, to which she replied, "No mommy first time the books go," because the night before I took her books away when she got up. Apparently she was finished with the books so she decided to give them up for the drink of water last night! Have I mentioned the child is a master manipulator... um evil genius? Ahh ha, but I was on my toes and countered her with tomorrow night the books don't go first, the tv does. There may be hope for us winning this war yet.

*Come back tomorrow for "Differences in Children Based on Birth Order". Alternate title "Why the Baby Will Always be the Baby."


oh, this is bad. Hopefully it is just a phase and she will get past it. Maybe you need to "wear" her out more...give her some jobs to mopping, sweeping, resurfacing the driveway, etc....
good luck.

February 3, 2009 at 7:23 AM  

My 5 year old will stay awake until 1am unless we do bedtime just right. I put get her ready and put her down, and then she channels all the attitude of her mother when she was 15 until the DADDY comes in to the rooms, lays down next to her, places his hand on a leg or arm and she promptly psses out within a minute and 45 seconds.

Not even kidding. It's weird. I keep telling him he must sweat tranquilizers or something.

February 3, 2009 at 8:25 AM  

OMG, I miss you!!! :'-)

February 3, 2009 at 2:43 PM  

My six year-old likes to avoid sleep, especially if he's really sleepy. We have become very strict because he will negotiate his way to 2 sm and we worry he needs sleep to grow, function learn. So we are mean.

February 3, 2009 at 6:09 PM  

And I wish you luck. Especially during those teen years. Oh yeah.

February 4, 2009 at 12:07 AM  

HA! My girls tag team. One night it is the older one who cant sleep because she is afraid of bears. Then next it is the wee tot going on about how she NEEDS her nintendo DS in her bed to use as a flashlight because the the precise number of photons in the room is inadequate. (She uses different terms of course).

I feel your pain, but hold on to this. You are bigger older and smarter, and bonus, you make the rules ;)

I love Bill Cosby and often identify with "Himself"

February 4, 2009 at 10:23 AM  

The cure for this is called, "if you look at me sideways you lose everything." It's miserable, but if has to be done occasionally--especially with the youngest child. It usually takes about 2 weeks with a strong-willed child. I learned the technique from a friend and while painful (for the mother) it is effective.

February 4, 2009 at 11:37 PM  

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