Oh my, the first day back after vacation is something else. Most of my dayhome kids nap every day while they’re here – although their parents tell me they don’t nap at home. I believe this because we had the same problem with Thing #1 when he was in full time daycare… we used to have to shut the house down on weekend afternoons to get him to nap. But we always did, because it was a small price to pay for a happy, rested child.
Many of my parents don’t agree with that philosophy. Because it’s the weekend, and they are spending two full days with their kids for the first time all week, they have a tendency to sacrifice naps on the altar of Quality Time and Fun Family Activities ™, pictures optional. Again, I get it. It makes Mondays a bit of a nightmare, usually – but it’s part of the routine now, and I’m used to it.
But holy shit, today. TODAY. I haven’t seen the kids for ten days. Which means some of them haven’t napped regularly (or at all, in one sadly obvious case) for nearly two weeks. Tired is not the word. Balls-up exhausted beyond all reason or rationality might be a better way of putting it.
My quiet kid won’t nap for his parents. They don’t adjust his bedtime accordingly. And he is an early riser. Today, he has black circles under his eyes. He’s unfocused. He keeps dropping whatever he’s playing with to lie down on the floor. I daren’t put him down for a nap just yet, because I’m trying to restore his schedule, but as soon as lunch is over that little fellow is going to find his sleepy butt in bed.
The toddler almost fell asleep over morning snack. When he’s overtired he needs to fuss to sleep, and from the nap room now I hear him whining, half-asleep, so sleepy he didn’t have the energy to chew Cheerios but still irate at finding himself plopped in bed at his usual morning naptime for a bit of rest.
And the four year old, who still naps for three or more hours every afternoon thanks to very unhealthy sleep habits at home, keeps flopping onto the furniture and curling up into the fetal position, face white.
I’m looking ahead now to when I reopen after the baby is born. One week is all I’m closing for. ONE WEEK. But then I think about having five overtired kids, one infant, one six year old with the post-holiday hangover, and me. And I wonder what in the name of god I was thinking.