Archives for posts with tag: no nap

It’s easy to feel like a good parent on the days when everything goes right, when your toddler naps, when all of the games you play are fun, when dinner and your home improvement projects all turn out just the way you wanted to, the first time around.

This was not one of those days.

I cried, and my tears fell onto my shirt. My daughter, the object of both my love and frustration at that moment, had nearly grated her fingers, carried off the cheese I needed for biscuits, ignored at least three sets of instructions, and then methodically picked the blooms off of a stem of silk lily-of-the-valleys. To add to the mix, there was crying on her part, foot stomping, and general caterwauling. And that was just in a three minute span.

She looked up at me, eyes wide. “Are you sad?”

“Yes,” I said, and she hugged me.

“I’m sorry you’re upset,” she told me. I felt better – unprompted kindness does that – and told her I was going to put some water on my face.

She took two wooden utensils from the dish drain and went into the bathroom with me. Ugh – one more thing to have to wash again, to move, to put away. One more thing on top of one more thing.

She climbed onto her stool, stuck one utensil under the faucet, and turned on the water. Water trickled over the face of the wooden spatula, then she turned the water off, stepped off her stool, and started walking towards me, carefully holding the spatula. The water dripped off onto the floor, leaving both the spatula and the floor a little wet. One more thing to wipe up. “I’ll wet your face,” she said. “Take off your glasses.” (Of course, from her, that statement sounds like this: “Take ozh your gwasses.” Obediently, I did, and she gently ran the damp face of her utensil over mine, the curve of its face matching the curve of mine, and wet my face for me.

Never, I think, has something like a wooden spoon been put to kinder, gentler use. I won’t mind washing those again; I won’t mind washing those again at all.

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We’re at ZeeZee and Pop’s house for Thanksgiving. By 3:30 today, after no nap, we were shocked at how early in the day it still was. Life without her going down for a nap can be exasperating and exhausting.

Then we heard a sad story about a family ZeeZee and Pop know from church, about the woman suffering through the loss of her grown son. Unaware of the story, ML looked up gleefully from her Play Doh, her face radiating all the love, happiness, and trust a two-and-a-half year old feels when surrounded by some of the people she loves most in the world. If only she could always feel like this about us, and we about her.

“It’s OK, Mommy. It’s no big deal,” ML will admonish us. And she’s right – a day without a nap, some spilled water (or milk, or salad dressing, or Thai coconut soup), a broken plate – these things really aren’t a big deal, and it’s good to be reminded of that, even if it takes my two-and-a-half year old to do the reminding.

I just hope that when we fast-forward through life (and these days, there seems to be no slow motion option), we all remember that we make each other happy, that the little things we get hung up on really matter less than we think, that families aren’t perfect but our love for each other is.