I had a great blog post that I was going to write for you today. I came across a new study from Boston College that gives some statistical merit and academic credibility to what most of us at-home dads have been saying all along - we are not victims of the recession. A lot of us chose this life. But that post will have to wait until Friday. I have a much better story to tell you instead.
My daughter has been having issues taking her naps recently. I think it's a combination of getting older and not wanting to miss any of the action. Being just over two years old, she is now more aware of the fun things that could happen if she stays awake. It started when her naps shifted from starting at 1pm to starting at 2pm. No big deal, right? Well, it just means that I have to accomplish different tasks in the morning that I used to have time to do when she was asleep. It also means that dinner preparations are happening later because I don't want to rattle the pots and pans while she is sleeping. While it may not seem like a big deal, if you ask any at-home parent on a rigid routine if late naps or no naps are a big deal, and I feel like you'll get a bold round of "Huzzahs!" I brought my daughter upstairs today for her nap at 2pm. She looked very tired, and I thought that everything would go smoothly. It did not.
I changed her diaper (that's a whole different story I'll be writing about for a different website later this week) and we brushed her teeth. We said our prayers and sang "Jesus Loves Me" before I tucked her in. As soon as my feet crossed the threshold of her doorway, she was standing up in her crib. Here we go. She fought me for forty-five minutes. Each time I laid her down, she would pop back up. I was getting frustrated. Instead of losing my cool, I scooped her up at 2:45pm and held her in my arms like I did when she was a baby. She wiggled her way out the first time. But I soon caught her again and this time, it was daddy's famous bear hug.
I rocked her with the patented Real Matt Daddy Slumber Inducing Rocking Motion - right arm under her head with my hand supporting her back with vertical motion, left arm under her legs with a rhythmic patting of her bottom with the left hand, and the secret weapon, side-to-side motion from pivoting my torso left and right. No child will not nap!
I began to sing her a song that I wrote for her when she was a baby. It's called "When You Are Tired" and it describes the entire bedtime routine from start to finish. She didn't need the words. Humming was enough. She just looked at me for a while with her beautiful blue eyes as if to say, "I remember this song." She was asleep in five minutes. She heaved a big sigh and let go of all of her toddler business that was floating around in her little mind - all the thoughts of candy and story time, snacks and juice - and she drifted off to dreamland just in time for me to write this story for you. And there's no other story I'd rather tell right now. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.