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Yay, It’s Nap Time!

DSCN4389 [640x480]As a father, I always look forward to spending quality time with my daughter, engaging in such brain-stimulating activities as cup stacking, block sucking, and of course the always exciting “toss toys down the stairs and scream until Daddy goes to fetch them” game.  During the week, my wife gets to experience the brunt of this, leaving me nary an hour or two after work to partake in Justine’s “infant-o-rama” before bath and bed.  But on the weekends, as the kids say, it’s “on like Donkey Kong” for dear old Dad.  While I hate to admit it, after a few hours of endless ball tossing, there is only one activity that I sincerely look forward to.

Nap time.

“Daytime night night,” has always been a big part of the day, because in many ways it’s the only uninterrupted time we adults get to actually accomplish anything in the house of consequence, whether it be cleaning the rotting mass of pine needles out of the gutter, painting the 70’s era wood paneling in the basement, or hand-stitching baskets out of thatch we grow in our backyard.  We also occassionally (ok frequently) use this time to relax, watch television shows that include words with more than two syllables and/or do not feature talking animals, or pass out while endlessly repeating the parenting mantra of “nap when they nap.”

When Justine was just a baby (an astounding 6 or 7 months ago), nap time was a twice a day affair,  once shortly after breakfast and the second shortly after the early afternoon re-run of “What Not to Wear.”  Over the past few months, though, it became increasingly harder to get her to fall asleep in the morning, as evidenced by the loud screaming and shattered mirrors caused by angry pacifier tosses.  We finally transitioned to what I refer to as the “epic nap,” where, on a good day, she sleeps for two plus hours, and even occasionally passes out for three.

And I can’t stress enough how important that nap is because it plays a significant role in how shaping our post-nap atmosphere. After many months, my wife and I have devised a simple formula  when it comes to napping – basically the length of a nap is directly proportional to our daughter’s afternoon mood.  Simply put,  the longer the nap, the happier she will be.  The hour nap leads to much consternation, general fussiness and requires a significant “tele-vention” to solve, while the three hour leads to unbridled laughter, dancing, and in some cases full-bore Olympic tumbling run.  And that’s just by us – you should see how Justine acts after one of those babies.

Yes, nap time will probably always be a sacred time for us – at least until the next one comes along and they sleep at separate times.  Then black morass of pine needles will finally and inexorably gain the upper hand…

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  • http://www.pjmullen.com PJ Mullen

    I couldn't agree more. My son dropped his second nap like third period french almost at his first birthday. Then he would only take one nap about an hour long, which meant from the time he woke up until the time he went to sleep was guaranteed to be filled with crankiness. Fortunately, he managed to stretch nap time to a nearly two hour affair on a regular basis within a week. The perfect time for me to catch up on things around the house, you know, like sleep.

  • janiewoods

    God, I miss naptime….

  • http://heirapparent.frantzylvania.com mwfrantz

    Yeah it was a rough transition for us initially too – mostly because there
    isn't any clear signal that the shift is happening. I was kinda expecting
    some parenting professional to drop by the house and tell us to switch, but
    from what I can gather, they don't do that…
    Mark

  • http://heirapparent.frantzylvania.com mwfrantz

    It surely is a blessing for us, at least for now…

    Mark

  • http://www.pjmullen.com/ PJ Mullen

    I couldn't agree more. My son dropped his second nap like third period french almost at his first birthday. Then he would only take one nap about an hour long, which meant from the time he woke up until the time he went to sleep was guaranteed to be filled with crankiness. Fortunately, he managed to stretch nap time to a nearly two hour affair on a regular basis within a week. The perfect time for me to catch up on things around the house, you know, like sleep.

  • janiewoods

    God, I miss naptime….

  • http://heirapparent.frantzylvania.com mwfrantz

    Yeah it was a rough transition for us initially too – mostly because there
    isn't any clear signal that the shift is happening. I was kinda expecting
    some parenting professional to drop by the house and tell us to switch, but
    from what I can gather, they don't do that…
    Mark

  • http://heirapparent.frantzylvania.com mwfrantz

    It surely is a blessing for us, at least for now…

    Mark