Saturday, October 29, 2011

Naptime Elegy

My three-year-old, the Duchess, is erratically dropping her nap. This is causing chaos in my normal schedule, not to mention some soul searching...

Oh naptime, that quiet time between 12 and 2 - or even 2:30 or 3 on good days! The time during which I can surf the internet, return calls, knit baby gifts, vegetate, and screen calls from my mother ("I know that you'll be home, that's why I call you then," she will say cheerfully, as I frantically try to pause the episode of NCIS that I had been watching).  And now you are slipping away, like sands through an hourglass.  Soon you will be a fond memory.

Oh naptime. I could always count on you. The Duchess was a crummy sleeper, but she was great at napping.  But slowly those naps went away.  First it was the short afternoon nap (catch-up on HGTV time).  Then, as a result of consulting with Dr. Ferber's sleep clinic at Children's Hospital, we purposefully got rid of her morning nap (YOU try keeping a child who routinely awoke at 4:30am for the day up until noon.  Not as easy as it sounds!).  Then I just heard that her latest bout of midnight wakies was a result of her being up too long during the day, so no more than an hour, they said, if that.

It didn't matter. The writing was on the wall.  The Duchess barely has been napping at school (what the heck, I figured, I'm paying them to watch her when she's awake, right?).   And I have yet to come to grips with the following things:

1) Someday, the Duchess will not ever nap. She will eat lunch, and then go on to do another activity.  Like a regular person. Like a grownup.
2) It is not normal for a grown woman like me to be so upset at the loss of a couple hours to catch up on CBS's finest shows (all the CSIs, NCISs and so on).  Normal people do not pause to watch a bunch of TV during the day, unless they are really sick and feeling sorry for themselves.  They have other more important things to do, right?

(Even when I first moved to Boston in 2003 and didn't have a job, I never watched TV during the day.  I was doing a by-the-book job search.  Also, that was back when I used to go to the gym all the time.)

Oh naptime - the little boost that got me through the day, which starts around 5am daily (I told you the Duchess was a lousy sleeper) and ends at 7:30 or 8pm.  That's a very long workday, longer than any I've ever had, and relentless, especially when the Duchess doesn't nap and turns into Whine Woman, the worst superheroine ever.

"Moooommmmmy," she moans from time to time, tears in her little eyes. "Where are my princess soooooocks?"


Oh naptime, I knew that you were a short-lived phenomena, a fragile flower blooming in the winter.  Oh naptime, the gift to new moms everywhere.  Oh naptime, I need help to figure out what to do with the Duchess in your absence.  Do I still watch my TV, or do I have to do something non-screen related?

At least I still have little Honey.  And the days when the Duchess is in school? Well, it's just like old times with a former lover - that comfortable feeling but one that you know isn't going to last.

Goodbye, naptime.  You were great while you lasted.


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