Posted by: Hannah | 08/16/2012

and today’s lesson is…

Every day from 1PM to 3PM, we have naptime (or quiet time, for the kids too old to nap).

No noisy toys. My older boys have their video game time. I make ahead as much dinner as I can. The baby (usually) sleeps. I have cup of tea, eat my lunch, maybe hang out some laundry.

It’s a welcome and necessary mid-day break, and when the Toddler Brigade outgrow their naps I will weep bitter tears.

***

To help them nap, I have a ‘nap room’ set up. There’s a big bed, a toddler bed, pack & plays. Soft blankets. A light-blocking blind. A musical lullaby thing. There are no toys allowed in the nap room, and they aren’t allowed in there when it’s not naptime. It is strictly for being quiet, for sleeping, for resting up. Louis and Pixie are here from 8AM until 5:30PM, and they need a break as much as I do.

So! After lunch we clean up the toys, read some stories, and head for the nap room. Louis in the toddler bed, Pixie in the pack & play. Blind closed. Lullaby playing. “Night night!” I chirp, and I hear nothing for two hours (and indeed, I often have to wake them at the end of the nap period).

Yesterday didn’t start off well. Pixie arrived shoeless, hair uncombed, face covered in applesauce. Her mother got on her level and said “be better for Hannah than you’ve been for me all morning!” in a half-stern, half-desperate voice. As she bolted out the door she tossed a “good luck with that!” back over her shoulder. Then Louis arrived, late, also with his breakfast smeared all over his face. He had bloody knees because he fell in my driveway – again – and was sucking his thumb, a very rare occurrence for him.

All morning they were touchy, fighting over toys, spots, if they were sitting too close together, if Louis was a boy or not.

Louis: I a boy!

Pixie: I a girl!

Louis: No, I a boy!!

Pixie (confused): Pixie a girl! PIXIE A GIRL!!

Louis (angry): NO PIXIE I A BOY A BOOOOYYYY!!!

Luna meanwhile was merrily twirling around in a too-short dress and too-big underwear that kept falling off.

Naptime. Glorious naptime. Luna’s gone home. Louis and Pixie are clearly ready to sleep. We go through the usual routine and I say “night night!”

But then Baby G only naps for 20 minutes. And then Harry and Ron want me to play Catan Junior with them. And I need to get steak in the marinade. And then I need to research the best place to buy new tires for the minivan. Oh, and take out the garbage – a month’s worth of garbage because no one took it out over vacation and we only have pick up every two weeks and and and…

… at 2:45 I heard the nap room door open.

This in itself is ominous, because they NEVER get themselves out of bed. NEVER. But OK, whatever, maybe Louis just woke up a little early. His little face peeks around the door frame and he says very quietly, “Han-nah, whea mah gasses?”

A word about Louis’ glasses: he has one very crossed eye. Like, it looks directly at his nose. About two weeks ago he got glasses. Yes, he is 29 months old. Yes, the glasses make me nervous. He’s been good about them so far, though. Every day at nap I carefully remove the strap that holds them on, untangle the ear pieces from his very thick & curly hair, and place them on top of the tall filing cabinet stashed in the nap room.

You know where this is going, right?

***

I went into the nap room. The light blocking blind was rolled all the way up and knocked out of the bracket. All the bedding was on the floor. The lullaby music thing was also on the floor. Pixie was out of the pack & play (!!!!!!11!!!!!!!WTFBBQ!!!!!!). And Louis’ glasses were most decidedly absent from the top of the filing cabinet.

Me: *spluttering incoherently*

Pixie: Hi Hannah! We no seep!

Me: Guys. Oh… oh my lord. OH MY LORD WHAT DID YOU DO? AND WHERE ARE LOUIS’ GLASSES?

Louis: *fingers in mouth*

Pixie: “Gasses! Louis gasses! INNA BED!” *points at pack & play*

Sure enough, there they were. Someone – and I’m pointing the finger squarely at Pixie here, because she’s a climber and has also been just a boundary-testing little jeezer lately – had pushed some things around in the nap room to make a crude ladder, then climbed up, retrieved the glasses, stepped on them (probably?) and after bending one ear piece completely around the opposite way and also twisting the hell out of the front had then tossed them into the bed.

***

I was actually speechless. I marched them out of the nap room and sat them side-by-side on the playroom floor. I put the nap room back to rights. I found some pliers and put the glasses right enough that Louis could at least wear them home, although they were askew and obviously will need a professional’s touch. I spoke as calmly as I could about not destroying things, not climbing dangerous piles of furniture & pillows, and most especially not under any circumstances touching Louis’ glasses ever ever EVER.

Lesson learned. Baby monitor has been dusted off and placed back in the nap room. More frequent checks during naptime will happen. I will stop assuming that what happens today will also happen tomorrow.

Yesterday, I ate a big old piece of humble pie.

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Responses

  1. GAH! I was laughing about their argument – I love toddler arguments – and Luna twirling around. I actually had a fear that you were going to go into the naproom and the filing cabinet was going to be on top of a crushed Pixie. I actually got so emotionally vested I was holding my breath here.

    PIXIE. Oh, you naughty Pixie. The pack and play needs a roof (kidding).

  2. little HELLIONS!

  3. Ugh, I hate when they are quietly destroying my house. I started using separate bedrooms to alleviate the “mob” mentality at nap time (if’s she’s going to be up, then I’m going to be up!”) They may only be two and three, but they know what’s what 😀

  4. PIXIE A LITTLE TROUBLEMAKER!

    LOUIS A RASCAL!

    See, I’m fluent in toddler-ese.

    • Nicole: No injuries yet… the filing cabinet is much heavier than she is so I don’t think she’d be able to tip it over. Hmm…

      Sarah: I know, right? TURKEYS!

      Kate: I wish I had enough rooms to put them in separate spaces to sleep… But none of the other bedrooms are toddler-safe, and since they are not confined to their beds – apparently – I’m afraid to take the chance. I do have to figure out a solution by late October, when a new 1yr old starts with me – I very much doubt she’ll be able to nap in the room with the toddlers.

      Nan: You hit it right on the head.

      Update: Yesterday they slept and slept and SLEPT – nap went on for three solid hours, and I still had to wake Pixie up at the end. Clearly, they were still exhausted from the destruction of the day before.

  5. Oh my. Toddlers Gone Wild. Also, may I please go in the Nap Room?


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