So fair warning here: chances are I’m going to piss you off a bit here, particularly if you’re the parent of a toddler who’s a little less than cooperative. At times, this might sound like I’m complaining about something practically every parent would give almost any amount of money for. Know that I’m not, but really just making an observation. It’s still okay if you hate me for this. I’ll understand.
The thing is, Squatch likes sleep. He gets that from his mom. Not that I don’t like sleep—I’m a pretty big fan—it’s just that Karli and Squatch can work the hell out of a nap. We’ve lucked out that we haven’t had sleeping problems very often or very long with this one. Yes, you can start to hate me now. If it makes you feel any better, he does get up pretty early
This past Sunday, Squatch and I took in a Royals day game with my mom as a belated Mother’s Day celebration. It meant he had to miss his nap, and really only got about 10 minutes of sleep on the way from the game to the barbecue place*. By the time we got home, he was beat. He was a really good sport about it, but he crashed early and slept in (till SEVEN A.M.!) the next morning.
*Gates Bar B. Q., if you were wondering. It doesn’t really get much better than baseball and Kansas City barbecue on a beautiful day. And while we’re on it, I’ll just go ahead and put it out there—KC barbecue is the best barbecue. I’m not even going to argue it, so don’t even try.
Monday, he finally did take a nap—FOR FOUR HOURS! Yeah, I know. That’s what I’m going to talk about, and why you’re going to hate me. Because while there is sheer awesomeness to be had in a four-hour nap, especially due to its rarity, there’s one thing I observed about this phenomenon: It’s really hard to get stuff done when your kid naps for four hours.
“But that’s just stupid. I can get a lot done in that four hours.”
First off, good to see you again, Imaginary Internet Reader. Haven’t heard from you in a while. And secondly, you’re right—sort of. The thing about kids, especially young ones, is that schedules and routine really matter. These guys can’t tell time, so routine keeps them from constantly flipping their shit. And if your kid routinely takes two hour naps, you learn to get things done during those two hours.
When your kid hunkers down for a four-hour nap, you don’t actually know it’s going to be a four-hour nap. You get your plan set for the two-hour slot you usually have to fill and you do all the things before your kid wakes up.
Only then he doesn’t get up. So what do you do? You don’t want to start on something you need to dedicate a ton of time to because he’s already passed his normal waking point, and he can pop right out of bed at any time now, demanding your attention. Instead, you decide to undertake tasks that you can easily abandon at a moment’s notice and require little commitment. You’re paralyzed on your couch because you just know the minute you settle into that big project, that’s when he’s going to get up.
And that’s how you spend half your afternoon watching YouTube videos instead of doing something actually useful.
“So why don’t you just wake your kid up after two hours so he keeps his schedule?”
Screw that, IIR. It’s four hours of me time. I’m not giving that up, not for all the YouTubes in the world.
(A quick coda: Yesterday’s was a three-hour nap, only the internet was out at my place for most of it, so I went with a book instead. Books: The internet before the internet was the internet.)