Monday, April 30, 2012

Naptime in the Jurassic Jungle

What is it about sleep that small children find so horribly... well, horrible?  I remember when I was really young, the rule was you don't come out of your room before 7 am.  These days, that would feel like quite the feat.  My whole life I've had a love/hate relationship with sleep - as in hate to go to bed, at night, then hate to get up in the morning.  Some people would chalk it up to a "night owl" personality.  I consider it a form of biological inertia:  an object in motion tends to stay in motion, and an object at rest (me) tends to stay at rest.  As a mom, it's become more of a love affair with sleep, complete with "absence makes the heart grow fonder."  Every morning as I hear the stirrings in the next room, I beg God for "just 5 more minutes!"  (Or 20?  An extra hour?  Please???)

And why is it when you have multiple young children, the naptimes ALWAYS overlap just enough to cause severe emotional stress - on the part of the mother??  Having noticed wake-up noises over the baby's monitor, I listen at the bottom of stairs to my 2-year old son "winding down" (a.k.a. decrying the atrocities of naptime), knowing he has probably already removed every article of clothing except (hopefully) his diaper and dumped all his stuffed animals out of the crib onto the floor.

I'm desperately trying to figure out how to make "the switch".  Every mother of two or more knows that touchy undertaking of retrieving a newly awakened napper from an adjacent upstairs room without further disturbing the other napper.  In our home, it typically ends up feeling like a scene out of Jurassic Park - clutching your 7-month old, you creep back out into the hallway, trying vainly to hush your own panicked breathing, praying she'll remain quiet in your arms until you can dodge back down the creaky stairs.  You pause with bated breath, listening...  Sudden and complete silence overwhelms you - he is aware of your presence on the 2nd floor!  Two options remain:  a) wait for the muttering/whimpering/bargaining to resume, thereby masking your whereabouts and allowing you to escape without further notice, or b) make a break for it, hoping against hope that he "won't notice."

I went with option b.  In my panic and hurry, I hit every creaky spot on the way down.  If my son were a velociraptor, I'd be a goner.

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