The Disappearance of Nap Time
Ask any parent and they will tell you that nap time is pretty much the only respite you get while parenting. I recently spoke with a dad to a one year-old who still naps twice a day. Ah, I remember those days, I thought with a tinge of jealousy. Nap time is when parents can sort-of get things done (quietly, of course), and maybe even rest a bit themselves. I mentioned in another post that our oldest hasn't napped much in the past several months, but our youngest is still pretty solid on once a day. Well, a couple weeks ago, this happened:
That's our youngest climbing out of her crib. We had put her to bed one night and, after a little crying, heard a knock at the door. There she was, standing on the floor. "Did you put her in her crib?" my wife asked me, which I did. We put her back in the crib and left a phone on a table to record the video. Sure enough, she climbed out in less than a minute.
Of course I am proud of her physical prowess and climbing abilities, but this was a blow, especially after we thought we had had a bed time victory not two weeks before. Our solution was to put both girls' mattresses on the floor in Ellie's room and let them sleep together, which is fine since they will likely share a room later anyway -- we're just speeding up our plans. It went alright that night, but the next problem was a little less easily resolved: what would become of nap time?
Over the next few days, I tried putting them both to bed for a nap: no dice. Even if the youngest is tired, the oldest will keep her up. I put Waverly's mattress back in her crib for a nap time and let the older do "rest time." This worked a little, but with Waverly's newfound abilities, she has to be pretty tired to go down quietly. And so, every day we just wade through uncharted waters, trying new things to get her to bed. Sometimes I stand there and rub her back to coax her to sleep. Sometimes I'm too exhausted myself to do that and just give up on the whole thing altogether. Let them play a little while I try to rest or get things done, and then maybe do some TV time in the late afternoon so I can finish up or cook dinner.
I wish I could finish this blog post with some solid lesson I learned, or even a tip to get the kids to go to bed more easily, but such is not the truth. I am writing this post while Ellie makes an art project and Waverly is (thankfully) sleeping after a busy morning at a friend's house. Who knows what tomorrow holds for this once sacred time? Every day is a coin toss of unpredictability and hope. One thing I do know is that it is with a heavy heart that I learn to let go of one of the last little bits of personal time we parents enjoy. This gift of God for weary moms and dads to make the already difficult transition into parenthood a little less abrupt.
Or maybe this is it, and "my time" is gone. I guess that's parenthood -- forced selflessness. So if these blog posts get a little shorter or less frequent, now you know why!