Today, J and I decided to do something we have never, ever done in our nearly 4 years of parenting.
We skipped nap time.
This was a huge freaking deal.
To me, nap time is the Holy Grail of parenting. It is non-negotiable. It’s an hour and a half for us as parents to regroup and prepare for the upcoming 5 hours of nonstop questions, crying, eating (everyone except us) and entertaining. Without this time of rest, my children are monsters. Especially E. Some children get quiet, snuggly and docile when tired. No, not my child. She goes into some sick form of self-preservation and everything is kicked into high gear. She runs around like a maniac laughing and crying and hysterics. Sometimes urine is even involved.
She’ll be 4 years old in June and honestly, I’m amazed she’s still napping at all. Her naps have dwindled down to about an hour each afternoon and I have taken that as a sign we’ll soon be nap-free. Sad face.
So, when we were making plan for today and the gorgeous weather forecasted, I suggested we forego our precious nap times and head to lunch and the park after church.
It was fun. The weather was perfect and the girls had a blast. It felt so energizing to be out and around other people during a time of day that for the past 3 plus years has been spent with E’s bed nearby. I swear, I forgot what angle the sun shines at during that block of time. It’s beautiful, really.
We loaded back into the truck around 2:30, a solid hour and a half after nap time and I felt proud.
Look at us, living off the cuff! Scoffing in the face of predictability and regimented schedules. We are cool parents and our kids have fun while those boring babies are sleeping in their boring beds while their parents read boring books. We are young, hip parents with perfectly well-adjusted children!
Yes. I thought all of those things. It’s a little embarrassing.
So when I turned around in my seat to engage my children in a reggae rendition of The Wheels on the Bus (because I’m that cool), imagine my surprise to find E fast asleep.
Our window of opportunity for napping slammed shut well over an hour previously. If E took a proper nap, J and I would be royally screwed when it came time for E’s bedtime schedule.
I took back all those thoughts about living freely and my well-adjusted children and all that garbage.
My child wasn’t well-adjusted, she was terrifyingly exhausted and I was in for a wicked afternoon.
We got home and this poor girl was a wreck. She had slept just enough that I couldn’t have gotten her to lay down had I wanted to. But she was still so clearly spent that she went into overdrive and didn’t come down for nearly an hour. I eventually calmed the beast with a soft yellow blanket and a late afternoon viewing of Dumbo on Netflix.
So no, my 3 1/2-year-old is in no way ready to be done napping. Ever. She will probably nap until she has children. And then she’ll just wish, along with the rest of us, she could nap and hate the fact she decided to reproduce and consequently will not sleep again until her children have children.
But it was a lovely day at the park. And B had fun. That sweet little girl.