Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The final "bon voyage" of babyhood

Me: "Abby, will you always be my baby?"
Abby: "Yes, Momma! Even when I'm a grown-up, I'll be your baby."
Me: "Really?"
Abby: "Yes, Momma. I just love your schweet little face."
Me: "Elise, will you always be my baby?"
Elise: "Yes, even when I'm grown-up. Even when I'm sixteen."

We are officially through a full week of no-naps. That doesn't mean "rest time" has been eliminated - there is still a mandatory 1 1/2 hour rest every afternoon that consists of piles upon stacks upon heaps of books. But I've let the actual sleeping go. Finally. And guess what? My children are charming - maybe even more charming than before. Why? Let me tell you... 

Well, you know how babies, toddlers, little people wake up from naps refreshed and snuggly with those sleepy eyes and sweet smiles? You do? Hmmm... I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THAT IS LIKE!!! My children wake up from actual sleeping naps foul. Miserable. Crabby. Crying. Irritable. So why did I enforce sleeping until over 4 1/2 years? Because I worked so. damn. hard. to teach these girls to nap. Of their entire babyhood, establishing a napping routine probably had me in fits and tears more than anything else. Breastfeeding? Very difficult and painful but well established within a few months and a piece of cake for 14 months. Eating solids? Walk in the park. Sleeping through the night? Rockstars by 3-4 months. Potty-training? Done at 24 months with very few hiccups. Napping? EIGHTEEN MONTHS. It took me EIGHTEEN MONTHS to get those two little monsters to sleep regularly each day without a battle or tears (theirs or mine). When I finally won the battle, I assumed I'd enforce naps until the girls were sixteen. I bet they wouldn't love being my baby then, huh?

Sigh. I guess instead of forcing my babies to nap, I'll spend afternoons bike-riding, reading, playing, singing, and dancing with my big girls. They appear to enjoy this more than sleeping:

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