Waking A Child From A Nap Will Not Tip The Earth Off Its Axis
Before I had children, I was one of those people who thought I would be able to get my infant used to noise so that they could sleep better in our loud, city apartment. I was convinced we wouldn’t whisper or change the way we moved about the house at all when he was asleep. I was wrong. I totally became the super-quiet, yell-whisper mom I never thought I would be. Along with that behavior came an ultra-sensitivity to my child’s nap time and how it was affected. In other words – I never strayed from it.
The first time I whisper-yelled at my husband to SHUT THE FUCK UP! when he entered our apartment on his cell phone while our kid was napping, I knew something inside me had shifted. I really wanted him to shut the fuck up. I really wanted my child to have his nap. Really. When I realized those nap times were the only opportunity I had to take care of stuff that was totally neglected during those early days of being a first time mom – I committed myself to making sure the nap schedule was regimented and followed. Don’t get me wrong, I helped out a lot to have him down for those naps. I just took it a little too far.
When I was still living in Brooklyn, events would come up that would happen to coincide with the time that he went down – usually around 10 o’clock in the morning and one o’clock in the afternoon. I would inevitably skip these events, because I didn’t want to disturb the space-time continuum – I mean, my child’s nap. I committed to these nap times more than I’ve ever committed to anything in my life. Then the day came when I realized I needed to get a grip.
I know an over-tired kid is a pain in the neck, but I was literally a prisoner to these naps. Friends would try to make play dates, a cool kids concert would be playing at our local park – and it was always, Sorry! That’s his nap time! In retrospect, I can see that this is really dumb. As if a kid won’t stay up an extra hour in the daytime to dance to a live band. And yes, he will probably be an extra tired jerk that night – but does it matter that much?
I guess I think about it more now, because we are in a new place that doesn’t have half the cool stuff going on that used to occur in my old neighborhood. I’ll be able to tell my son the first concert he went to was Parliament Funkadelic and the second one was Fishbone. What if I decided his naps were too important those days? What a bummer that would have been. Not to mention the fact that it was almost impossible to schedule a play date with all of the varying nap times the different moms had for their kids. It was just overboard.
With kid number two, this won’t be as much of an issue. I’m a multitasking whiz now, I don’t depend on the naps as much. Also, I’m way better at ignoring my children. If you have a regimented nap schedule, more power to you. I just think I’m going to lighten up this time around.