Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Bye bye nap time

It's official. Austin has given up his naps.

I was quite surprised when it happened actually, which is odd because I should've been expecting it. He started fighting nap time over a year ago but I persevered and managed to get him to start napping almost daily again. I had to, I couldn't fathom the idea of having an infant and a two-year-old non-napper all day, every day.

So I fought with him and I was more stubborn than he was. And I won. For the last year, he slept most afternoons for one and a half to two and a half hours. It meant later bedtimes, but that didn't bother me, because it meant that both kids slept every afternoon and I could get stuff done. Whether it was laundry, cleaning, cutting the grass or working on my latest writing project -- I could get stuff done.

Not anymore.

Three weeks ago, Austin stopped napping. Just like that. In fact, in the last three weeks, he has slept only one afternoon. It doesn't matter what we do in the morning -- play at the park, go to the pool and even walk (not ride in the stroller but walk) around the zoo -- he does not nap in the afternoon. Instead, he goes into his room soon after Alex goes down for her nap. We read a book, he gets under the covers and I turn out the lights. And he lies there, sometimes quietly, sometimes not, for about 20 minutes.

And then he calls me to come back. And I tell him he can't come out of his room yet and give him a pile of books to read. When he's done those, after anywhere between 10 and 30 minutes, he comes and finds me.

So I sort of get 30 to 45 minutes to myself to get stuff done. But I have to run up and see him half way through that time. And, let's face it, 30 to 45 minutes isn't really a lot of time in the grand scheme of the number of things I'm trying to accomplish. Some days, if I still have a lot I need to do -- or I just need some more kid-free time to myself -- I pop in a show or part of a movie for him. (Which is what he's doing right now while I spent a few kid-free moments with my computer. Although, for the record, he's watching a movie because I'm waiting for a response to the work-related e-mail I just sent.)

I realize I'm going to have to re-think the way I do things. Letting Austin sit and watch a movie some afternoons is great -- because I need time away from him and to work on my freelance writing and he does need some down time -- but other afternoons, I need to focus on spending some quality time with him. We could do preschool crafts or play board games or bake or any other quiet, yet productive, activity.

All fun things, yes, but unfortunatley, none of those fun activities get my laundry done or my freelance work written.

One thing's for sure. I'm going to miss nap time. A lot.

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