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Motherhood, Olive


If you follow me on any sort of social media channel, you will have no doubt noticed (and perhaps eye-rolled) my continuing saga of “I think Olive is giving up her naps what is happening she’s only two make it stop I need the nap I NEED it!”

The debate, is over. I can’t deny it anymore, I think it’s time for acceptance.

Here are the facts: I can get her to nap, but it doesn’t happen until around 6.5 hours after she wakes up, instead of 5 hours after like it did in the good old days. It then takes 30-45 minutes of book reading and cuddling and general urgings to please for the love of god sleep child! Then, then she will sleep for around 2 hours and that’s great, except then she’s good to go for another 6.5 hours. But because her nap time is being pushed back, everything else follows suit and her bedtime was being pushed back about 2 hours every day. Plus I was losing the 45 minutes of getting her to nap. So, the time gained by napping was being negated anyway, you know what I mean?

(Parents: nodding. Non-parents: Bewildered expressions and shrugging.)

So for a while now we have been experimenting with no nap. And, it’s not terrible. She doesn’t seem to miss it, bedtime is a million times easier (she falls asleep mid-book, rather than after many, many, many minutes of back rubs and songs and lying with her in the dark.) She sleeps 13 hours at night now instead of 12, and when we have days where we are out and about, I admit, it is nice to just carry on, rather than experience the panic of looking at your watch and realizing “Oh shit! We need to get home so she can nap.”

I am trying to encourage quiet time in her room instead, because that’s the hard part of this whole equation. Without that 1-2 hour block of silence in the middle of the day, I am literally talking, and being talked to, for twelve hours straight. Questions. Instructions. Explanations. Voices for her stuffed animals Ralph, and Grey-y, her He-Man action figure, and her puppet, Seal. It’s non-stop. And lovely, of course. Ha! Fantastic! She’s so verbal and it’s great. Really. Charming, actually.

And also? Insane-making? Because it doesn’t stop? Ever? EVER.

Recently we’ve been talking about emotions. I’ve been trying to name them for her as I experience them so she can recognize them, and perhaps begin to do the same and express her emotions verbally like a human being instead of just angrily flinging objects at me like a tiny primate.

What this means is that I now have a tiny person peering in my face all day asking “Mummy happy?” at the slightest hint of a smile, and “Mummy sad?” when I take my medication, and recently in the produce market when I told her sternly that she was to keep her shoes ON, she asked, and then repeated about eleventy-nine times “Mummy frustrated? Mummy frustrated? Mummy FRUSTRATED?” on and on and on no matter how many times I answered, until everyone in the store was forced to look over at us and bear witness to the barefoot toddler and FRUSTRATED mummy.

The timing is interesting because not only was I under the assumption that kids napped until three or four (am I insane? Is this real, or just something I made up?) this is also my first month writing for Earth911, and I am still getting used to juggling this new workload. Nap time was my chunk of time in the middle of the day to sit, work on new posts, follow-up on emails, and just generally get things sorted out during regular business hours. I still have that time, but it’s at 9pm now, after Olive is asleep and I’m done cleaning up from our day. So it just requires a bit more planning and organization from me, and also some time snuck in fifteen minute increments here and there throughout the day.

I would like to point out, however, that I have no one but myself to blame for this recent turn of events. This is karma, pure and simple.

In Olive’s six-month update, I – idiot that I am- wrote this:

So basically naps=horrible and I might be the only mom ever to be counting down the days until she only has 2. Or 1. or NONE! Then we can hang out all day without this hell.

Ha! Hahaha! Hang out all day! 

HahahahahahHAHAHAHAHa. Oh my god, I was insane. That is a first-time mother, right there.

In all honestly, I’m OK.  I am relieved that bedtimes are so much simpler, I think it might be really cool to be able to take her out for full day excursions now – I mean without diapers or naps we are just two free and easy ladies ready to take on the town! All day museum visits, hours-long art gallery excursions….look out world, here we come!

(But also:  Dear Olive, if you ever decide that this whole staying-awake-for-twelve-hours-at-a-time thing is for chumps you just let me know and I can totally arrange a return to naps. No problem. No problem at all.
Love, Happy Mummy)