Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Naps or lack thereof

As I sit here at work this morning, reflecting on my wonderful weekend memories with Jeff and Olivia, I am struck with a sense of guilt and puzzlement at my reaction to Olivia’s nap time/lack of nap. What is it about baby sleep that can drive a mama crazy? Why is it that a nap schedule seems to dictate my sanity, or even easy-to-get-along-with-ness? My memories only hold vibrant, colorful and happy pictures of all of us smiling, waving at the horses in the St. Patricks Day Parade, clapping and dancing to the music, sliding down the slide at the park with thrilled squeals, playing with puppets and chickens, picnicking on the front lawn. Oh yes, when I dig, yes, I remember holding Olivia a little tighter in my arms as she wiggled and writhed after her bottle as if I could FORCE her to fall asleep for her second nap, and even getting frustrated when she started to point around her room at things she wanted to get to. Have you ever tried to force yourself to sleep? Yeah, so there you go. Why do I get so caught up in her sleep schedule and NEED HER TO NAP RIGHT NOW I DON’T CARE IF YOU’RE TIRED? Well, most importantly, because I don’t want her to become overtired and then have the evening be filled with frustration or tears. But also because for some reason my mind gets caught on a hamster wheel of “if she doesn't take a nap, I won’t be able to fold the laundry/read/relax/take my own nap/GO ON LIVING.” But wait. Here I am. Alive. Maybe not as rested or relaxed as I may have wished, but the laundry is folded and put away and all my other chores are finished, too. So I’m a little tired, yes, but none the worse for wear. I want so badly to remember that a short nap, or even no nap, isn’t the end of the world. It will barely make it as a memory. Yes, playing with Olivia all day takes lots of energy. She is VERY interactive and doesn’t really play alone just yet. We don’t just stack cups together, we TALK to the cups, HIDE the cups, PRETEND the lion is FLYING in the cups, and OH MY GOODNESS DON’T YOU DARE PUT DOWN THE LION OR MY TINY 14 MONTH OLD MIND WILL EXPLODE.” And yet it’s so fun at the same time. To watch her eyes light up when the Lion comes to life. When she can stack the cups in the right order. When she growls like the lion and we laugh out loud. Let’s not forget this mama’s desire to not work outside the home. How can I complain about lack of naps when I only get two full days with my daughter each week? Don’t get me wrong, sometimes those days are longer and harder than others. Many times I wonder how stay at home mom’s stay sane. I recognize I don’t have to carpe diem every moment. At the same time, I DO want to cherish the cherishable moments and take a freakin chill pill when it comes to naps. So my baby girl wants to play rather than sleep. How could I resist such a request? Maybe I will go a little crazy if the laundry doesn’t get done. Has there been a weekend yet where there is still a pile of clothes on the floor? Nope. I guess we’re making it work. So I’m going to do my best to relax and enjoy these playful moments while they last :) After she gulps down that warm milk, looks me sweetly in the eyes and then pushes off of me with a grunt while throwing her blankie to the floor, I will give her an extra squeeze, take a deep breath and say “ok, sweet one, let’s keep playing.” Yes, that’s what I will do. (or at least I will try.)

So here are some of my memories of the weekend for you to enjoy, too:

photo shoot with st. patricks day shirt

I don't know what caused her to do this, but oh my how cute!

clapping along



yes, let me model my new chair for you ;)

this is how I climb up

this is how I get situated

I like to situate my baby just so

my cozy corner

baby in the microwave?

sign for butterfly when she saw one on TV!

I can't get enough of her drinking out of a big cup with a straw

snack time

I'm having so much fun, can't you tell?


This was the windiest day in the history of wind. Mama was miserable but Daddy and Olivia had a blast!

I have no idea where she learned to go up a slide the wrong way (ahem!)

and finally, more boat progress. he had to rig up a strap to figure out how to bend this big piece down. my stomach was in knots I was so worried!


Leslie said...

OH how timely! As I read this, my heart, mind, and soul are SEETHING as Abe is in his crib, laughing, nay MOCKING me, after only 30 minutes of quiet time (did I wake him? or was he ever asleep? I'll never know). I just made myself some Calming Yogi tea, and I turned the monitor off. I'm sure I'll feel like getting him in 5 minutes, but for now, I'm going to relax. For just. five. minutes...

Cheryl said...

Leslie hit it right on the nail. Quiet time is a close second behind a nap and it is OKAY to turn off the monitor and take some "me time"! Olivia will learn to entertain herself and learn to understand that it is okay for her to be alone and awake in a safe environment with you nearby and that it's okay for you to have alone time too. You're doing great Terri!

Ashley said...

at the almost exact same time isla had about a 3-4 month of FUNKY stretch of one nap, sometimes two. Alot of times it being where she would only do a morning nap. Finally about 18 months she was able to fully drop morning nap and consistently take an afternoon nap around 1 and still does. Tiff's Laine just finished the funky stage a few months ago around the same time. Hang in there!