When I was a stay-at-home mom of a newly mobile infant, with a deployed husband and no toys of our own, I had this idea that we would be out and about doing all kinds of fun play groups and classes, having something to look forward to getting out and doing each day.
Then I had to face the reality: EVERYthing was scheduled during his naps.
I understand why the classes are scheduled when they are, now that I’m a stay-at-home mom of a very mobile toddler. It’s because toddlers rule the world. I will shell out any kind of cash for an opportunity to gobble up an hour and a half of the 6 hours between wake up and nap time. And I will NOT compromise that one nap time.
You know how (on a normal day) at your office job, you can get up to pee whenever you want, go refill your coffee or grab a snack whenever you want, maybe disappear in the supply closet for a minute when you can’t focus, take an hour for lunch? Or take the day off if you’re not feeling well? Yeah, I miss that sometimes.
When my guy was younger, it was pretty easy to pack him up in the car and take little day trips to nearby estates and villages. I would expect him to nap in the car and we’d be on our way. He would ride around in his stroller, I’d do my thing, and we’d call it a day.
Then the naps started dropping, and those that were left became more precious. He’s always much more enjoyable when he’s well rested. And I’m much more enjoyable when he’s enjoyable. Plus, having a chunk of time each day when I can get in a shower, some cleaning, and maybe even some Internetting makes me feel at least a little human. I’m not wired to spend 12 straight hours entertaining someone who still craps his pants. (Example A.)
Oh, and there’s something about how important sleep is to a growing brain’s development.
So now I’ve become a fairly staunch protector of The Nap. The dog KNOWS he’ll get the “finger point and scowl” if he so much as sneezes and wakes up the baby. Today some ladies with The Watchtower knocked so very quietly on our door at 2pm, just as I was sitting down to check the weather with a cup of by-then-tepid tea. Plato didn’t bark or jump or whine, but he did knock over a toy that woke up Walden.
And guess who was cranky all afternoon?
I could have been if his little tantrums weren’t so hilarious. I mean, is it really so bad to not be allowed to pull off the bear decal that’s covering the rip in the wallpaper? Here’s hoping it’s just exhaustion and not early onset of the “terrible twos!”
[A note on the photo: now you know I’d never dare to photograph my guy while he’s actually napping in his crib!]