Sunday, March 9, 2008

Naptimes (or Lack Thereof)

Esmé’s Mommy here.

Now I’m betting I’m not the only parent who spends some days counting down the hours and moments to naptime. All the work I need to do, or just the need for a little "me" time, is pressing on my mind.

So what do you do when the baby will NOT go to sleep? I may have a schedule for Esmé, but she’s made it quite clear that it’s not HER schedule as far as sleep times are concerned. Some days she skips morning naps, other days she skips afternoon naps, and sometimes she just takes forever to fall asleep at night. And some days it’s a combination of the three, or all three.

So I have a couple of options: 1) take her out of her crib and let her play, 2) sit close to her crib and keep her stocked with books and toys, or 3) leave and let her cry.

(All you perfect parents out there – trust me – letting her cry does NOT result in her taking a nap eventually. I will not tell you how long I’ve left her in there for fear of incriminating myself, but if she’s decided not to sleep, she DOES NOT sleep.)

I’m doing my best to avoid option 1 for her own best interest. If I’m feeling like a good Mommy, I go with option 2. But some days I just HAVE to go with option 3 for my own sanity, or so I tell myself.

So I go to work or try to relax with the sobbing soundtrack in the background. For some reason, it’s never as productive or restful as I’d hoped.

And when I finally decide it’s time to commute her prison sentence, I walk into the bedroom to the most heartbreaking face in the world. But here’s what I love:

The moment she sees me, the tear-streaked, snot-nosed face brightens and smiles peak through. As she reaches for me, she gives me the hugest, sweetest hugs and kisses and smiles. It’s as if she is saying, "Mommy, you’re the best Mommy in the world. I love you SO much. I’m SO glad to see you."

No grudges, no guilt trips. Just love.

Why couldn’t all of us forgive and forget like that?