It was all but devastating when my now 5-year-old gave up her nap. For three years I planned my entire life, and the lives of others, around this sacred 2-hour period. Somebody is bleeding to death? Grab a band aid and wait until 3:00. House is on fire? Throw some water on it. QUIETLY. Run a leaf blower within earshot or knock on my front door? Die a slow and painful death.
Nothing came between me and my two whole hours where I had total freedom to do anything in the whole entire world I wanted as long as it was in my living room or kitchen. Favorite activities included: Catching up on neighborhood gossip when nearby cordless phone conversations cut into the baby monitor and eating Girl Scout cookies.
But then one day it was all over.
“How about you just take a little rest up in your bedroom?” I said, nailing her door closed. But keeping her awake upstairs with my two other nappers meant that about 30 minutes in, just as everyone had gently dozed off, she began screaming, “MOM! CAN I COME DOWNSTAIRS YET! MOM! MOM! MOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMM!!!!!!” Which not only woke everyone in the house, but within a 2-block radius. And I know this because I heard them complaining to each other via my baby monitor.
So it was I who lost the war of attrition, and suddenly my hallowed time alone vanished.
And me being a spin doctor of optimism, created “Ellie and Mommy quality time”. Which basically boils down to a game of Candy Land followed by me dozing off after I set her up with some crayons and a movie.
Believe it or not, these daily couch naps are a relatively new phenomenon for me. I never napped when my kids were babies. But me after a toddler board game is like Dorothy after a field of poppies and a bottle of cough syrup. One minute I’m kicking all kinds of ass in the Gumdrop Castle, the next I’m unsticking my head from the carpet and notice two hours have passed.
And this, as you no doubt can imagine, has opened a whole new world of magical opportunity and freedom for my 5-year-old. I wake up and it looks like I just missed a fraternity party hosted by zoo animals.
A few things I’ve woken to include:
– Freshly made pitchers of Crystal Lite
– Full blown tea parties with my good china set up at the dining room table with said Crystal Lite poured into shot glasses
– Empty bag of chips that I did not buy at the grocery store or have any idea where they came from
– Kardashians on TV when I clearly remember leaving it on PBS
– 12 apples in the fruit bowl, each with one child-sized bite missing
– Over 500 pictures on my phone capturing various angles of each aforementioned apple
– Her wearing my bra, which she then proceeded to wear for the next three days (Yes Lila and Hadley are having a death battle behind her. On the stairs. Welcome to Tuesday night.)
-Her talking on my phone
– Mysterious packages of bulk candy delivered to our door via UPS
– Litter of puppies in the basement
The interesting thing is that one time I on the verge of dozing off, heard the floor creak, and opened my eyes to see her standing above me, watching to make sure I was asleep. She just stroked my hair back and whispered, “It’s okay, Mom. Just sleep. Sleeeep…”
I think that might have been the chip day.
And I don’t have any real concerns for her – the worst that can happen is that she might find my stash of Girl Scout Cookies but I’m fairly sure I would fully recover after only a few days.
Clearly we all know there is a glaring opportunity here and don’t you worry. I plan to teach her the beauty of doing laundry over summer break.