On (Not) Napping and Mail

Over the weekend I had the unwitting realization that the way I had set up my website, the only page I could add to, blog-style, was my home page. But I wanted a static home page, and an Uploads & Inserts page that had motion. I emailed the trusty folks at WordPress for some advice, and after dithering around in my dashboard for a bit, voila. I seem to have lost my last post, though, and all of your kind comments, but I guess this is the price one pays for a working blog. Please do comment again, if you feel so inclined.

Tuesday, naptime. L is at an age where, well–let’s just say it–he is making me crazy. He has taken to using this whiny voice and asking for everything like this: “I want milllllllk. I want waaaaaater.” (Friends are impressed with how verbal he is for two. Indeed.) And he’s so grumpy lately! Worst of all, he is being a real pain about his nap.

I should preface this by saying: L is at a home-based daycare three mornings a week, with lovely kids and nice people. He is a gregarious and very social kid, and when he started at the daycare back in September he surprised all of us by having a very, very hard time. There were floods of tears every morning, for one thing. Then I would show back up to get him and he would be gasping from having been crying all morning yet insisting, “I had a great time!” (Bwaaaahhhhh!) Now, in December, we all seem to have adjusted a bit. I do not worry as much if there are a few tears when I leave him, B is now equipped to drop him off some mornings, and when I pick up L at noon he is happy and doesn’t want to leave. Best of all, he is usually pretty tired, exhibiting the toddler-style exhaustion signs: he is cranky, demanding, sometimes ear-splittingly yawning. But once every two weeks or so–or, lately, more often, which terrifies me–L does not take his nap. Some days I see it coming. Last Friday, for example, he was so happy and high on life after we got home, I knew he wouldn’t sleep. He was just too wired and full.

But today. Today, L was showing all the signs. He was yawning, cranky, etc. We had a big snack, I changed him into warm koselig clothes, I read him some stories, I tucked him in. Was my mistake going in when I heard him talking? Undoubtedly. For the last hour he has been demanding to be done napping, crying, yelling for me, etc. But the kicker is this: he is exhausted. He is trying to rationalize why I should let him out of his crib as his face is morphing into a wet yawning cave. He is crying over ridiculous things. In short, all he needs to solve all his problems is this very nap he is refusing to take.

I guess it’s a contest of wills at this stage. Can my resolve to keep him in there outlast his desire to get up? I hope.

I wish I weren’t so anxiously attached to L’s nap, but I am. I work while he naps, for one thing. I teach online writing classes, and most of my work is done while L snoozes. After I finish, I love to get a break, though I seem to spend more time writing or working on writing stuff, or paying bills, or–you know. So when L doesn’t nap it sets up an exhaustion in me comparable to his when he doesn’t nap, as though I’m channeling his energy, even if I had no intention of sleeping myself. (Which maybe I did, today. So sue me.) Anyway, as I was saying, I do wish, in a way, that I could have some Zen Buddhist way of dealing with an erratic napper. Instead I feel this throat-deep panic that he will, tomorrow, decide never to nap again, and life as I know it will end. Call me dramatic.

Today the mailman stood in the yard next door and hurled two packages at my neighbor’s door. The second package knocked over a vase of pine fronds that was resting next to the door (very festive). When she said something to the mailman, he responded sarcastically, “Oh, you want me to come up to your door and very gently place your packages there? On bended knee?”

“Yes,” she said. “That would be nice.”




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  1. Carlita

    Oh man do I get it. Naps are so precious for us. And also so precious for them, which also makes them precious for us. We were in this phase just a few weeks ago. Now G has been napping for 3-4 hours every afternoon for the past week. Toddlers are so many things. Predictable doesn’t happen to be one of them.

  2. sharm

    I have to say my best 15 mins ALL WEEK was sitting at a cafe with a gas heater, the paper and a coffee in the sun on sunday while H napped. When he woke up we went inside, to MASSIVE crankiness, despite pancakes and maple syrup. All other diners rolling eyes, I was shocked myself. I couldn’t stop thinking of the peace we’d just had…

  3. Laal

    I have two kids who both stopped napping right around two. The substitute? Definitely not as good for them but works out for me…videos. It’s the only way I can get on the computer or get a moment of quiet. Not very ‘purist’ of me, but we try to only do stuff that’s pretty good content… Good luck keeping him napping until then! It’s fun to read your posts!


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