I need my kids' naps more than they do

I remember reading somewhere that you truly know you’re an adult when you wish you could cash in on all those naps you refused to take as a kid. You find yourself longing for those days when you could just lay down and have a sleep after lunch (or before lunch, or both, even) and nobody would ask you what the hell you were doing in the work conference room with the lights out and your feet propped up on the chair next to you. (Ahem. I may have been in my first trimester of pregnancy when that happened.)

My youngest child has been working her way out of her daily naps for several weeks now, much to my disappointment. Because I *need* those naps. I need the peace and quiet I get when she’s having one of those naps. I need the excuse to “lay down with the baby” when I feel like I, too, need a nap. I need to know that there is an hour every day when I can make phone calls, eat ice cream without a small person hanging from my arm begging for “one more bite”, or go to the toilet in peace. All things which are nearly impossible when you have a toddler.

I wish my bigger kids would nap, too. Master Eight laughs in the face of naps. He struggles to get to sleep at night and wakes up at the crack of dawn, and I think that if he took a nap every couple of days, he’d be far less grumpy and far more willing to do the meagre number of chores I ask him to do. Miss 13 is rapidly approaching that stage where she’ll be a teen who wakes up at noon on the weekend, and let me tell you, I can’t wait. Let them ALL sleep until lunchtime. Think of all the room I’d have in my pantry if I didn’t have to buy three different kinds of breakfast cereal!

Last weekend, my husband announced he was taking the kids to the beach for the morning. “So you can get some things done,” he told me generously. I knew what he meant. I could go to the supermarket without kids in tow, or look at my tax paperwork, or call a friend. The minute he and the children were out the door, I sank into the sofa cushions with a sigh. The house all to myself for a few hours! What would I possibly do with myself?

I’ll tell you what I did with myself. I fell asleep on the sofa, in the process of making a list of the things I was going to do that afternoon. I was awakened two hours later by the sounds of the car doors slamming and children squabbling over whose seashells were whose. “The littlest one needs a nap,” said my husband as everyone trooped inside.

“I’ll go lay down with her,” I volunteered. Never turn down the opportunity for a nap.

Katherine Granich

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