"6 will be better. 6 will be better. 6 will be better." I'm repeating this mantra each hour until her birthday in a few days.
Not that 5 has been horrible, quite the opposite. 5 is fun. 5 is adventurous and silly and taking time to enjoy every little thing that crosses her path. 5 is riding a bike without training wheels and winning a three-legged race with her best friend. 5 is trying new things, swimming like a fish and learning to read. 5 is loving and kind and still so very sweet.
It's also a lot of work...still.
Ever since she walked in on a cheesy and completely ridiculous "scary" movie that the boys were watching a few weeks ago, I've had a sleeping bag rolled up next to my side of the bed. Lo and behold, each night somewhere between 1 and 3am...in she comes. She doesn't even mind sleeping on the floor, which I thought would be a natural deterrent to coming in our room at night as opposed to staying in her own cozy and comfy bed. She snuggles into that scratchy polyester bag like it's her very own Sleep Number Bed, and goes right back to sleep.
I can't say that I completely don't understand, because I do.
For years, her brothers shared a room with each other, never really having to battle the bedtime monsters under the bed alone. They always had the other one to lean on, to count on, and to talk to if they were having trouble falling asleep. They were never completely all by themselves.
So it's no surprise that she goes through these phases more often than they did at her age. Or, perhaps it's because she's a girl...or because she's the last "baby" of the family. Or, as my husband likes to point out when he really wants to get my goat, that I "coddle" her.
Sure I treat her with excessive care and kindness.
She's. My. Daughter.
If I coddle her, than I coddle the boys too. I am, if nothing, more than fair when it comes to fanning out my kindness when it comes to my kids. Sure, it's different for 11 and 12 year old boys than it is for 5 year old girls, but it is, nonetheless, no different in meaning. The love is the same, even if it wears different clothing.
Just ask my oldest when I'm standing at the front door in the freezing morning, still in my pyjamas, blowing him kisses as he and the neighbor boy walk to school.
Oh yes, I'm that embarrassing.
But with her, it isn't just all about the sleeping. It's everything else too, it seems. I know that kids tend to reach some sort of developmental apex around their birthdays, hence the weird behaviors, but if I hear one more whiny, emotional, dramatic scream from her when she doesn't get her way - I'm not sure I'll make it to her sixth birthday, a mere three days from now.
And the most frustrating part of it all is that I know she is capable of doing the things she requests help for. I know she is. And I never had a hard time cheer leading for the boys when they pulled the "I can't do it" card out on me, but with her it seems like every time I try to do this, it's a battle. We're talking WWIII, nuclear bomb, war of the worlds type battle here, not some diminutive little spat.
So I'm repeating myself again, "6 will be better. 6 will be better. 6 will be better." And I'm really hoping that my fortune telling skills prove to be correct otherwise I just spent way too much money on a Barbie Dream Townhouse.