The Tiny Manipulator

At bedtime last night, Gracie asked if she could sleep with Bean.  We let them do this occasionally, but it’s usually been for special occasions (the night of the Fourth of July, for example) or on weekends as special treats.  Yesterday, though, we had had a big day and I knew Gracie was tired, so I told her that, no, she needed to sleep in her own bed.


“But WHY??????” she asked.

“Because it isn’t a weekend,” I explained, as I tucked her into her own bed.

Chris came in a few minutes later to kiss her goodnight, and he said she asked him the same thing.  “But WHY can’t I sleep with Beanie?”

“Because it isn’t the weekend, sweetie, and because Mommy already told you no.”


Chris came downstairs and we curled up on the couch together to watch some TV.  About 20 minutes later, we heard this loud crash upstairs.  Chris ran up to investigate, and didn’t come down for about 20 minutes.  A good wife would have gone up and helped him with whatever was going on.

I just sat there and waited.


He came back down a few minutes later, laughing quietly to himself.

“So, the noise was Bean falling off of a chair.”

“A chair?!?!” I asked.

“Yes, a chair.  But I never found out why he was standing on a chair because as soon as I got into Bean’s room, Gracie went running out trying to hide from me.”

We were both cracking up at this point.  “What the heck is going on up there after we come downstairs?!?!” I cried.


“I have no idea!  I told Gracie to go get back in her bed right now, but she said she couldn’t because her pillow, bunny and blanket were in Bean’s bed.”

Ahhhh… now it was making sense.

“She is so stubborn!” I laughed.

“I know!  When I was putting her bed back together and tucking her in again, she was still demanding, ‘But WHY can’t I sleep with Bean?!'”

That child is beyond stubborn.  Seriously.  She’s stubborn to some kind of superhero power level.  Super Stubborn.  I’m going to get her a cape.


Fast-forward to 5:00 this morning.  What were YOU doing at 5:00 this morning?  I’ll tell you what I was doing.  I was waking up to the very quiet whisper of a blonde superhero.

Mooooooom,” Gracie whispered.  “MOOOOOOOOOM…”

“What Gracie?” I asked.

Shhhh… Be quiet.  Don’t wake Daddy.”

(Oh, no, of course we wouldn’t want to wake DADDY…)

“What do you need, Gracie?” I asked.

She put her chin on my bed so that we were eye to eye, and she put her little hands on each side of my face, pulling my head so that we were, literally, nose to nose.

Why can’t I sleep with Beanie?” she whispered.

“Gracie, go get back in bed,” I said, turning over.

But WHY?” she continued.

“Because I said so, Gracie,” I groaned, trying to get back to a comfortable sleeping position.

Can I sleep with him tonight?” she whispered.

“Yes, fine, whatever,” I mumbled into my pillow.

And then she gave me this smug smile and strutted out of our bedroom.  Seriously.  She ACTUALLY strutted.


From the depths of deep sleep came Chris’s quiet voice.  “She scares me.”


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15 Thoughts to “The Tiny Manipulator”

  1. Jennifer

    Gracie is my sister. My sister is now a lawyer, so the stubbornness might pay off!

  2. Suzanne

    DETERMINED. One day I’ll be asking your advice on how you’ve survived her because Brooke is going to be just like that. At 8 months old she’s already beating me at the stubborn game…I see many standoffs in our future 😉

  3. Amanda

    oh my gosh I needed a good laugh this morning. You described my child perfectly.
    Gracie and my daughter, Haley, are two peas in a pod.

  4. Jamie

    I die!! That child is hilarious. Gracie-1, Mom & Dad-0

  5. kat

    aw man. i laughed so hard reading this post for 2 reasons. 1) it wasn’t happening to me and it’s funny when it happens to someone else and 2) i can see this happening with Tay…..on second thought…maybe I should have been crying.

  6. sdr

    This is my son; he’s 8 now but the first three years were rough–like, if I had another like him I’d be a medicated alcoholic kind of rough. He’s my second and I thought I’d known what I was doing with this parenting gig, but he just about broke us. I never thought I would be negotiating with and giving in to a toddler but at a certain point it’s not about him, it’s about me and how much I can handle mentally and emotionally on a given day, and you have to carefully pick and choose what hill to die on because you can’t do it all the time. It did get much better once he hit 3.5-4; he’s just as scary smart and determined, but he has a better concept of boundaries and that “smart & determined” side figures out that they’re more successful in getting what they want if they work within the system.

    What’s funny is that he figured out VERY early that there’s what you do at home (where he’s emotional) and the game face you show the world. At school every teacher has said he’s the model student: respectful and even keeled.

    1. Meghan

      Your description of your child sounds exactly like my son, second child, one way at home vs. one way at school, and all. But he’s 5 and I keep thinking it must get easier, and so far it hasn’t, really…..

  7. Peggy

    Too funny! My 20 year old was much like Gracie at that age..and she still plays us now, asking which parent she thinks she’ll get the response she wants to hear.

  8. JoHanna

    tis seriously cracked me up! Thanks for the laugh!

  9. Sarah Gregory

    you’re stronger than me on the whole sleeping together thing. I tried to tell mine only on the weekends and that turned into crying every night because “Why not tonight?” I finally gave up. My 12 yr old ( yes, she is that old and they still sleep together) will eventually get tired of her little brother sleeping with her and put a stop to it herself. Until then I keep reminding myself how lucky I am that my kids love each other so much and are so close.

  10. Seriously – laughing out loud. In my office. She reminds me of someone…oh, right. That would have been me at her age!

  11. Chad and I often think that the whole “sleeping by yourself” thing must be confusing. I mean Mommy gets to sleep with someone every night…why can’t the kids? Gracie is persistent and has a one-track mind until the goal is accomplished. Those skills will get her far in life! 🙂

  12. Ha ha ha! I am dying. Her persistence will take her far in life – just remember that.

  13. Lindsey

    Haha I love this!

  14. Meghan

    Colin will do that same thing to us……whine about something at bedtime, and I keep thinking “Oh, he’ll forget it by the morning” but no, he wakes up and starts whining about the exact same thing. It is draining. I keep trying to convince myself the extreme stubbornness has to pay off sometime…..I’m just glad he’s our second because if he’d been the first, he’d probably be an only child.

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