My daughter turned three this summer and her final coup d’etat as a two-year-old was to refuse to ever willingly take another nap. I say willingly because there are those naps that come upon her like a stealth ninja any time we are traveling anywhere by car after the hour of 1 p.m. Then, the nap is on.
I have occasionally mourned the loss of a 2-3 hour chunk of time to myself on the days that we have together. The effectiveness with which I use such a chunk of time should impress; if properly motivated, I can speed clean the downstairs, prep dinner, fold and iron clothes while watching a movie, and take a nap. Or perhaps skip right to the nap. The choice was totally mine. Those days are gone now.
But with the forfeiture of my mid-day me-time came an unintended consequence: every once in a great, great while, when it is late in the day and Mia is a special kind of tired, she sleeps in my arms. And after the last year or two, when my attempts at nuzzling are typically met with her tiny hand shoving my face away, this is a welcome and unexpected turn. To sit with her taking a quick snooze in my arms, her breath warming my neck, however brief, is worth the surrender of countless hours of me-time.
Which brings me, in a round-about way to this. Mia has been cared for by both of her grandmothers while we work, God bless their hearts for all eternity, but I have seen the signs that she is more than ready for a regular bit of time among her peers. Our church offers a day of child care per week, so I signed her up, and today was her first day.
I bought her a new top, and selected her outfit with care, although we disagreed on the footwear. She won this round. I’m certain this is not the first time we will disagree on her attire.
Two years ago, this child was turning one. Two years from now, she enters kindergarten. These years slip by at an alarming pace. Each day I work against my basic nature and force myself to slow down, breathe, and take them in.