Life With A Five-Year-Old

It’s been a while since I’ve enjoyed the extended company of a five-year-old; to be exact, it’s been just about ten years (the younger boy turns fifteen next month!). I always enjoyed my kids at five, because they were such little people by that point. They were smart, they were talkative, and they were funny.

I only arrived at Kate and Scott’s yesterday, but Bean has had me LOLing and ROFLing and LMAOing many times already.

I asked Kate what time they are up in the morning usually, with Bean and the new baby, who has yet to get a nickname in real life (as far as I know) and here on the Scrawl. Kate told me that Bean always gets up at 6:33. That’s what time she’s allowed to get out of bed and wake up Mom or Dad. I suggested that perhaps Bean would like to wake ME up at 6:33, and perhaps let Mom and Dad sleep if they weren’t already up with her big brother. Bean was excited and on board with the idea. She said she would definitely wake me up at “6-3-3.”

At bedtime, Bean’s Daddy took her upstairs to read her a story, and after a few minutes Kate came to me and told me that Bean had requested that I sing her a song before she went to sleep. Believe it or not, I was stricken with a wee bit of terror over this, because I totally blanked out on children’s songs. I mean, I could sing her some Duran Duran, INXS, Madonna, or of course Lady Gaga, but that wasn’t what she was looking for.

Luckily, when I went up to her room, Bean told me that she was going to sing the song first and then I could sing it to her. She chose “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”. (Shew! THAT ONE, I know.) After we had our little sing-a-long, I gave her a hug and started to leave the room, but stopped just before I made it to the hallway and said, “So Bean, I just want to know something: when you wake me up at 6-3-3, how are you going to do it? You’re not going to come in yelling and screaming, are you?”

“No,” she said in a whisper, “I am going to open the door verrry quietly. And then I am going to walk in the room verrry quietly. And then I will say, verrry quietly, ‘Can you please get up and come downstairs to watch tv and eat breakfast with me?'” It sounded like a great plan, so I told her that and we shook on it.

When I went to bed, I set my phone alarm for 7-0-0, just in case she happened to oversleep on the one day we made plans so far to get up at the same time.

This morning, my phone alarm went off at 7-0-0.

I got up and opened the bedroom door to the hallway just in time to see Bean coming out of her room and going to the baby’s door right behind her Daddy, who entered the hall at the same time as the two of us. I whispered, “Hey! Bean! What happened?? I thought you were going to wake me up at 6-3-3!”

She said, “I was! But first it was 6-2-1 and then 6-2-9, and then it was 7-0-0!

I said, “Oh, that’s okay. Let’s let Daddy take care of the baby and you and I can go downstairs.” And we did. I offered her breakfast but she wanted to wait a while, so we headed down to the basement so she could turn on “Madagascar” and I could watch it with her while I was walking on the treadmill.

When I was finished, she asked for some Grape Nuts.


Because I just couldn’t believe it, I said, “Grape Nuts???? Are you sure?”

“Yes,” she said, “in a cup.”

“In a CUP.” I repeated. “How much do you want?”

“About this much,” she said, holding her hands about five inches apart.

“REALLY?!!” I exclaimed.

“Yes,” she said, “with sugar.”


“Yes. And a SPOON.”

I decided to make a big production out of this, because she is a very specific little girl when it comes to exactly how she wants things done. I will not put it officially on record who–I know for a fact–she gets this from**, but I know if her Daddy reads this, he’s thinking the same thing and laughing inside about it just like I am.

I said, “So tell me the steps involved in making your Grape Nuts just the way you want them.”

She got very serious and gave me the process:

“First, get a CUP. Then, put the Grape Nuts in it. Then the milk. Then the sugar. Then a spoon.”

I said, “Wait, wait, wait, you never said anything about milk, sister. Now I’m confused.”

“Melisa, it’s cereal. It needs milk!”

“Okay, okay. Let me review. First, a…cup?”


“Then, the Grape Nuts.”


“Then, the sugar.”

NO! Then the MILK.

“Oh yes, you’re right. Then the milk. THEN the sugar. Then the spoon. Right?”

“Right. Oh, and can I have some water too, please?”

“Of course,” I said, heading up the stairs.

“WITH ICE IN IT!” she called out.

I popped my head back around the wall at the bottom of the stairs. “Wait a second, ice too? I assume you want it in a cup. Ice first, or water first?”

“Ice first, then water, in a cup. With no lid.”

“Oh boy,” I said, shaking my head. “That’s a lot to remember. Let me ask you this: if I make a mistake, will you still like me?”


“Okay, good.” And up the stairs I went, to get that little firecracker her breakfast***.

Coming soon: Dinner Out With a Five Year Old.

*Hats off to Kate and Scott, who have a five-year-old who will eat Grape Nuts, as well as red peppers and other healthy bits of goodness. My kids STILL don’t eat Grape Nuts. Hmm.
**Screw it. She gets it from her mother.
***Luckily Scott was in the kitchen and told me that her estimate of how much Grape Nuts she wanted was about four times what they actually give her.


©2010 Suburban Scrawl


  • Oh My GOFF

    I loved grape nuts as a child… but then again I also ate pigs feet with salt.
    Cute post— my sister recently visited with my 2 year old niece. She's started a list called "Caelynisms" because kids do say the darnest things!

  • WeaselMomma

    What a cute kid! Those conversations are so charming and sweet and you were meant to work with small children.
    This post makes my favorites list.

  • Sue

    She sounds more demanding than your mom! You are in for an exciting week!!!

    And grapenuts? I won't even eat them unless they are in grapenut pudding!

  • john cave osborne

    good stuff. i gotta tell you…Lovie and i have had it up to our necks w/ our two year olds. today, someone asked me if i "watched any of the great games on yesterday," and a fist fight almost broke out. i'm not watching ANYTHING other than toddlers, and it's driving me wack-o. what i wouldn't give for a real-live conversation with a five year old right now.

  • Tom

    Welcome to my every day. Love it! She sounds like a little doll. And very polite! Michael wouldn't have remembered to keep quiet.

  • Michelle

    That cracks me up. She sounds like such a doll. Although Grape Nuts? Hmmm I might have to try that on the wee ones. They like most ummm cereals I wouldn't eat as a child, although Mister Man won't let milk go anywhere near his (as one with texture issues, I understand). I can't wait to hear about dinner out with her!

  • MaNiC MoMMy™

    Alright, I already want to squeeze this little girl to pieces! So cute!

    And I love grapenuts! But I stopped putting sugar on it.

    Oh, and off topic. Jen Lancaster told me Sugar Monkey Cupcakes suck. (Well, technically not off topic cuz that's still talking sugar).