Week 19: The End of Child # 1’s Naptime
by Sharon Tjaden-Glass
Now entering the “I got this/ Cheeseburgers” phase of pregnancy.
I’m great in the second trimester. I have decent energy. My emotions are (mostly) under control. And I’m not so hugely pregnant that I hate even the idea of moving.
I’m still exercising about five days a week, a combination of cardio/kickboxing, weights, and yoga. My target heart rate for cardio workouts is about 135-145 and that seems to be working well. The weights and yoga help keep my legs, hips, and back from killing me.
While I feel like I’ve got a handle on this pregnancy so far, I’m starting to realize that I’m entering a completely new phase of parenting with my three-year-old.
The phase that is completely void of naps.
The naps are… gone.
Or they need to go. At least if we want her to go to bed at 7:30 or 8:00 like she used to.
In the last week, we’ve put her to bed at 7:30 just as we’ve done for the past six months or so. Usually, she’s alseep by 8:00 or 8:15.
But lately, she’ll sit in her room, reading books, until 9:3o or 10:00. Sometimes 10:30.
Then, she’s up at 6:30 again.
It hits me.
We’ve been so spoiled with 11-12 hours of her sleeping at night and 1-2 hours of her napping. People often didn’t believe us that this was her typical sleep routine. They asked us if we drugged her or ran her ragged to make her sleep that long.
But that’s just how she was.
Now, that phase is ending.
Now, we’re becoming the kind of parents that are strategizing ways of getting out of the house and using up her energy. We go to birthday parties. All of them. We go to the library. We take her grocery shopping and deal with the headache of letting her learn to navigate the tiny kid’s cart around the unsuspecting legs of strangers.
We’ve even dropped money on special outings, like a trip to the Cincinnati Zoo and tickets to ride Thomas the Tank Engine at Lebanon-Mason Railroad Station. In a torrential downpour, I balanced my purse, a diaper bag, and my three-year-old under an umbrella, while everything below my thighs got royally soaked. My husband had dropped us off with our only umbrella and went to park the car, so he fared much worse. He boarded the train, completely drenched.
But when your child smiles like this…
Can you really be upset?
So we’ll do what we’ve always done: adjust. We’ll move into this next phase of parenting even as we prepare to re-enter phases that we’ve passed through years ago.
The will-we-ever-leave-this-house-again phase.
The oh-my-God-sleeping-four-hours-feels-amazing phase.
The maybe-she’ll-sleep-longer-if-we-give-her-one-more-bottle-before-bedtime phase.
The crap-she’s-figured-out-how-to-open-the-cabinets phase.
The holy-crap-my-child-wandered-into-the-next-room-without-me-noticing phase.
We’ll do it all again.
Maybe a little more relaxed this time.
Hopefully, a little wiser.
But always with the knowledge that there is always rest after the hard times.
Even if it is small.