It was my one vent for the entire month of December:
“My toddler wont take a nap!”
It crossed my mind a few times – and was suggested to me more than once – that perhaps he had already outgrown naps. I didn’t want to believe that because a) naptime is when I work and then prepare to face the rest of the day with two, young, active boys. and b) because this child does not understand the concept of play quietly. He seizes life with all his might and squeezes out every last drop.
He is my son of thunder.
But the real reason why I didn’t want to believe it was because he was so cranky all afternoon that by 6 P.M. I was ready to put him down. Most days he woke up that way, too. So, I was certain he was sleep deprived. He needed that afternoon nap!
The as suddenly as they stopped, they started back.
That’s when I realized something very important that I probably knew all along but didn’t want to admit:
He was watching too much T.V.
I have a million reasons why, the #1 being that I was battling a nasty virus for 3 weeks, and I could barely function, much less keep up with an active 3 year old and 5 year old. But, the apart from that, I was too busy.
As soon as I started to feel semi-normal, we started back to homeschool. He sits with us and learns alongside his big brother. This meant, as soon as breakfast hit the table, the T.V. was off and didn’t go on again until sometime late afternoon – if at all.
Magically, the naps returned. Sure, I still have to sit next to him and make sure he’s still enough to let his eyes droop shut. But 99% of the time they do.
This was a confirmation to me that the #Oneword I chose for 2015 was indeed the one I needed: Present.
Dear Mommy, I know the T.V. is a lifesaver sometimes. I totally get that. Sometimes its the only way we get a shower in, or 3 seconds to walk into our bedroom and take those deep breaths that remind us that our kids are just being kids – and not alien monsters that have invaded our homes. I totally get that every.single.day.
I am totally preaching to myself here, because if you ask me – it is still on more than it should be; but it is off more than it has been. Baby steps.
And you know what? My kids play better, and most days they don’t even ask to watch it. My presence, my 100% attention on them, is enough.
Wow – that totally just made my heart flutter and tears come to my eyes. Because the most precious feeling in the world is to know that YOU, mommy, are enough for them.
Yes, you are.
So I challenge you to try it. Turn it off and crank up some music, dance like it’s 1989, do a puzzle together, read some books, sing the ABCs (that’s my kids’ favorite song right next to Jingle Bells….still), put together a Lego castle – just be with them.