I am terrified of the day my daughter will quit taking a nap.
I literally fear the day. I don't know what I'll do.
Each day at nap time I prioritize what I want (and need) to get done and enjoy a few peaceful minutes to myself. I bask in the quiet solitude. I savor the time I have without anyone calling my name or tugging on my shirt. I marvel at how quickly I can accomplish things uninterrupted. I try to take care of myself. I recharge.
And I absolutely fear the day it ends. Every single time she misses a nap, I wonder if that's it.
If it takes her longer than usual to fall asleep, I immediately think she'll never nap again.
Perhaps I give nap time too much importance. It's hard not to. My sanity rests on nap time.
Today it took 2.5 hours for her to fall asleep. Yes, 2.5 hours. From the first signs of sleepiness to the time she fell asleep--2.5 hours.
She was yawning and her eyes looked sleepy during lunch. I thought she might fall asleep in her plate. She let me carry her to her room. She was relaxed in my arms. She wanted to nurse. We rocked and nursed for a minute. We read a story. It was lovely.
Then her eyes popped open and she asked to get up. She didn't want to read, she didn't want to nurse, she didn't want to lay down.
I almost panicked. I started wondering how I'll make it through a single day without nap time. My thoughts raced. I'll never have time to shower. I'll never have time to write. I'll never have a minute to myself. Aaaaaahhhhhh!
About 30 seconds later I realized I was totally overreacting. When she misses a nap, there's generally a good reason. Usually, it's because we're not at home or something else changed our routine. The culprit behind our napping issues today and yesterday was right in front of me and I didn't even notice until this afternoon.
But it's right there in her room, tempting her as we get ready for nap time.
As soon as this realization hit me today, I walked away. I let her play quietly in her room. She got out her doctor kit and gave her friends check-ups. She took out her cape and her tutu. She filled a few purses with random objects. She tucked her friends in bed.
I could hear her over the monitor taking their temperatures, kissing her friends good night, chatting with them as she woke them up two seconds later.
When I returned to check on her 30 minutes later she nursed willingly, hopped in bed, and went right to sleep.
I need to relax about nap time.
It might take a while.
Tomorrow morning we're going to spend a lot of time playing dress-up and hopefully nap time will come again.
I hope it does and just in case it doesn't, I'm going to be grateful for every minute I get today.