My two and a half year old daughter still takes naps. Boy, I am so thankful for that.
The time of day that she takes her naps determines the mood of everyone else in the house.
Earlier nap = stressed mommy. That’s a 7-9 hour chunk of time with no time for me to think or go to the bathroom alone.
Later nap = grumpy toddler. If she takes a late nap (3 or 4pm), then she is a popsicle in the summer heat. She is a mess. She becomes a dramatic melting mess in a baby puddle on the floor over the smallest of reasons: I forgot to bring her stuffed animal to the bathroom with us, her sippy cup dropped on the floor when she got out of the bed, or even that the sun went behind a cloud and the house got slightly darker for the briefest of moments.
Today’s story reflects upon the late nap Daphne took a few days ago. Sam had been home with us for a few days, so Daphne was used to seeing Daddy upon waking.
I didn’t want her to sleep past 5:30pm, as her bedtime is 8:30. So, I opened the door and found her laying on the floor in front of her bed. She groggily sat up and squinted at me from the darkness of her room.
I crouched and spread my arms wide, waiting for a big hug from sleepy Daphne. I smiled.
“Hey sweetie! How was your nap?” I chimed in a respectfully quiet voice. Who likes to be yelled at when they wake up?!
She took one look at me and her face began to turn. Her face crumpled and I could see the tears welling up in her eyes.
“No, mommy…” she began to moan.
“What’s wrong honey?” I asked her.
She started to scoot away from me. She began to wail. Big fat tears fell down her cheeks.
“No mommy. Dadddddddddddy…Noooooo” she moaned between sobs.
I stood up and began walking toward her to console her. Daddy was outside working.
“No mommy!” She yelled and gasped as she cried harder.
I explained to her that daddy was outside and asked her if she would like to go wait for him on the porch. She agreed. We went on the porch and waited for daddy to come give a hug to both of us. Her mood greatly improved after daddy’s hug.
Not gonna lie. My feelings were hurt. I’m allowed that, right?
I spend *almost* every moment of each daylight hour in a 20 foot radius (or less) of my kid. We play together. We read together. We eat together. We both make Penny, my 5 month old, laugh. She’s my little buddy.
I wasn’t expecting her to not want me that afternoon. Everyone wants to be needed.
I wanted to feel needed, like I was the spring rain to the flowers. I wanted to be needed like the sea needs the shore. I want to be needed by my kids.
Daphne had a late nap which made her grumpy and easily upset. I know she really enjoys having her daddy come get her from nap time. She wasn’t expecting me.
I know there is a day coming where she will no longer come to me just to snuggle or give me a big hug. There is a time in the not so near future that she won’t crawl into my lap and rest her head on my shoulder. I won’t hear “Luh-loo momma” anymore and I may have to relish the occasional “I love you” from her when she gives it.
For now, I cherish each hug she willingly gives. I smile from ear to ear when she stretches her arms wide and walks toward me for a hug. I tell her I love her constantly throughout the day. I am laying a foundation for our future relationship.
I always want to be needed by my girls. I want to be there for them. I’ll take what I can get each day and be thankful for every moment.