Kate plays hard. I often say that she is rarely idle; mind, body, or mouth. With hard play comes an inherent need for sleep. This kid loves her sleep. I cannot remember the last time we had difficulty getting her to go to sleep. There is some mom somewhere who hasn't slept in months who is gritting her teeth and cursing my name as she reads this. To her I will say, this is the only area that we have caught a break, I promise. It is the universes' way of giving us just a little hug in recognition for every aspect of parenting that does not involve sleep. Trust me. We have a great routine, kiss her goodnight and she talks herself to sleep (see, talks herself to sleep … so much to say, such little time!) I love to see the reaction from witnesses when Kate asks to go to bed when she is really tired. The need for sleep, for a recharge, is so great to her that she will ask you to take her to bed. Need I elobrate more?
It is not until you have a Child Who Needs Sleep that you realize how many events exist just to wreak havoc on naptime. We have been inundated with baby showers, wedding showers, weddings, and birthday parties over the past few months. Don't these people have kids? I will cut the wedding people some slack, as most of them probably do not have kids. The baby shower people are only months away from paybacks, so they are forgiven for their naivety. But the birthday party people, we need to talk. Actually, on second thought, maybe no payback is greater than having my nap-less child in attendance at your kid's party.
Coupled with the people who live to screw up our schedule are the people who just think that I am exaggerating Kate's need to nap. Oh, we didn't give her a nap, she wasn't acting that tired. You guys can stay awhile longer; forget about her nap, she'll sleep really well tonight. She woke up after a 30 minute nap, but she seemed happy, so I kept her up. I understand that you had a child who stopped napping at two. I understand that you think I am a schedule-obsessed-first-time-mother. I understand that she was having fun and did not want to nap. Do not, I repeat, do not screw with her sleep people.
Now remember, I am not good with confrontation. If you mess with her naptime, I am not opposed to bringing her back to you, setting her on your porch, and making a run for it. You might not hear my tires squealing out of your driveway over the guttural screams coming from my child on your front porch. If you have not been privy to a nap-less Kate meltdown, be warned that nothing logical happens at this point. We have sufficiently managed to disrupt the order of the universe. The kid cannot keep it together. No matter how hard you try, there is nothing you can do to help. The milk she wants? No, NOT MILK. In the pink cup? No, NOT IN THE PINK CUP. You also had better be able to accurately anticipate wants and execute them well before the demand is uttered. If not, there will be a meltdown of epic proportions. Once she makes it down on all fours, head to the ground, it's over people - OVER. Then will come more screaming. What ever you are thinking about trying at this point, don't waste the brainpower, it WON'T HELP. The only thing that will appease this kid is sleep and when we reach this point, sleep is unachievable. We don't screw with our naps people.
If I were writing a book titled Our Family Trip to Chicago 2008, I would take this entry and I would use it as the foreword.