Thursday, 22 May 2014

The unmapped nap


I've always resisted using the car to get my little ones to sleep. I prefer to use it as little as possible anyway - using foot or pedal power whenever we can. But with Quinn at kindy two days a week, he needs sleep more than ever on the days I have him home. And he just wasn't getting any with his baby sister climbing all over him in our bed wanting to play. A week or so into the school year I realised I could either become a slave to my children's sleep routines, or let them sleep in the back seat while I got out of the house and explored the south coast. I chose the latter.

Thea would have a big morning sleep while Quinn and I got jobs done around the house and garden, played in the sandpit or read stories on the verandah, then after lunch we all climbed in the car and headed off down gravel roads to sandy beaches where I swam while the two of them slept. I left the map folded in the glove-box and navigated by chance down dusty back roads, past farms and forests to swimming holes in sluggish rivers. Sometimes Quinn would wake up and join me in the water. Sometimes I would get caught out by roadworks; like the time they laid new asphalt 20 minutes before the school siren while I was still 20km from town. "You're always late!" the big kids protested when I arrived ten minutes late to an empty school carpark. I tried to circle closer to home after that.

We made the most of our summer days, and now that they have gone we have found a new rhythm. Thea dropped her morning sleep before her first birthday and now we all climb into bed together after lunch, read a few books and doze to the sound of the rain drumming down on the roof. Quinn likes to make a nest for himself in a corner of the loungeroom, where he beds down amongst the cushions with a bowl full of almonds and sultanas. I find him there snoring gently when I creep back out to knit, or read, or write. He will be four in a few weeks' time and soon he probably won't be needing the rest. But that hour or two of quiet each day feeds my soul. And I am happy to get it in whatever form I can.







8 comments:

  1. Gorgeous :)
    At 16 months Mia is still a two nap girl, I'm wondering when she'll drop one. I dropped Charlie's nap for him before he was two and a half because I couldn't get them to nap together!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. All my boys have needed their naps right up until they started full time school - and even then a home day with a sleep was still needed sometimes - but dropped the second sleep before their first birthday. It is so tricky if they won't sleep at the same time. That one-on-one time you get with them when the baby is asleep is precious though.

      Delete
  2. I'd be lost without nap time, even if it's only brief. The lay down, (like you said) the sneak away and go do the soul filling stuff that gives me energy for the rest of the day. I tell my girl not to talk to the 'other' kids who no longer nap that are her age...don't want her getting any ideas.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The three of us all had two hours sleep together this afternoon and I tell you, I feel like a different woman! Definitely don't let her talk to those other kids!

      Delete
  3. Nap times are sacred around here too. Flynn is down to one nap, a long 3 hour stretch though, and I love that time to myself. Even when they stop needing a proper nap, I'm a big fan of 'quiet time" for an hour or so after lunch as you describe. I take the phone off the hook and most of my friends know not to pop in during that time :-) x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hit the 'do not disturb' button on our phone just before we climb into bed. Entire days can go by before I remember to deactivate it! Three hours sounds like heaven.

      Delete
  4. It sounds like the perfect solution for everyone when Quinn is on the cusp of giving up his daytime naps. And daytime swims and family naps sound blissful. Both my girls dropped their daytime naps at two. Two! And so freetime comes when they fall asleep at night. I'm expecting my third to be the same...but maybe - just maybe - we will get a sleeper?! x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh I hope you do, Nicole. I am amazed at how much of their behaviour seems to be programmed into them before birth. I count myself very lucky that I got four who like to nap!

      Delete

Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment. I really do appreciate them all.