I'm not lying, I really am typing fast.
Scotty turned 17 months yesterday (and was a stinker for most of the day...please, please tell me that 16 months wasn't our peak) and he's officially a one-nap kid. It took a little while to get to this point, and just like all things in Motherhood, you constantly question yourself about what you are doing and if it's the right thing. I mean, I know there is some statistic that says by 18 months, like 80% of kids are down to one nap. But what if my child was part of that 20%? And what if I'm essentially robbing him of precious sleep and in four years, he's going to be inaccurately diagnosed with ADHD as a result of his over-tiredness, not actually because he is hyperactive and I've officially screwed up his life?
Do all of you have these thoughts? Please tell me I'm not the only one.
Anyway, I can tell you now that I feel fairly confident that Scotty is squarely in that 80% figure. After a 7am wake-up, his little eyes regularly droop by 11:15am. We eat a quick lunch and he's shuttled upstairs by 11:30. On a good day, he'll sleep until 2:00pm. On a GREAT day, he'll sleep until 2:30-3:00. On a I-want-to-kill-my-husband-because-he's-not-suffering-through-this-the-way-I-am day, he'll sleep until 1pm. (dagger to the heart). But really, the best part is Scotty is so tired that there is literally no fight over nap time anymore. Be still my heart! Oh, music to my ears. I cannot tell you how stressful that damn afternoon nap had become; keep him upstairs for an hour as he wails, but bring him downstairs only for him to fuss and grunt at me? What's worse? And there were so many times that I would listen in agony to the monitor for 45+ minutes, only to go upstairs to get him and be met by total silence. Since we were not thoughtful enough to purchase a video monitor (Jill, you're the smart one), I would stand outside the nursery door with my ear pressed to it. Is he asleep? Did he finally collapse from sheer exhaustion? Or did dingos break into my house and steal my baby? Either way, I wasn't about to open that door and find out.
I'm so glad the dingo-fears are now behind us. The little Bear wearily climbs the stairs, heads to his room like a big boy, we have a brief diaper change, some snuggle, and then it's snoozy time. Easy as pie.
And another perk of the one nap schedule is I can actually do multiple things during the day, versus living my life two hours at a time. We can do morning play-dates, be home for lunch, and then work in an afternoon at the park. Glorious! Scotty is hitting the bath by 6:15 and is in a deep sleep by 7pm. This schedule just feels so darn...clean. It's organized, it's simple, it's beautiful.
I, however, am not. Because the challenge of the one nap schedule is while Scotty may benefit, it's making me run a little faster. See, before, I would hop in the shower when Scotty went down for the 9am nap, and then have plenty of time to blog as he slept. I had an afternoon nap to suffer through, but cleaning the house was a good distraction to what I was hearing through the baby monitor.
Now, I have literally about 2 hours to shower, eat, clean the kitchen, clean whatever part of the house he destroyed, dry my hair, put makeup on, and do anything else that needs to be done when a child is not present. Which is essentially how I've divided up my day: what things can I do with Scotty around (wash dishes, pick up toys, vacuum) and the things I cannot do when he's around (blog, check Facebook, talk on the phone, write out bills, etc.) Sadly, "use the restroom" falls in the "When Scotty's Around" category, but I'm hoping it's good modeling when our time comes to start potty-training. Although he's developed a a penchant for shredding toilet paper. (please file that under "Clean Up What's He's Destroyed.")
I think the hardest part for me is showering. I hate having to ask Brian (beg, actually) if I can hop in the shower before him on a weekday morning. Sometimes it works, but if he has court, I'm screwed. And I'm the type of person that just really isn't awake until I have a shower, regardless of the amount of coffee consumed.
(In fact, when we were playing Angry Birds one night, we had gotten to the part with the Boomerang Birds (the ones that you fling over the building and then touch the screen, which causes them to squawk loudly, do a 180, and then crash into something) when Brian exclaimed, "Oh, these are Kimmy-in-the-morning-birds!" Hahaha. Yeah, he's right though. Touch me pre-shower and I will promptly squawk at you and then dive right for your throat.)
Anyways, unless you too are showering during the day, it's easy to miss how much damn time one spends on basic hygiene...which isn't saying much, considering how I look most days. A shower is 10 minutes; drying/dressing is another 5. It takes me 12 minutes to dry my hair and another 17 to lotion up/put makeup on. That totals 44 minutes of time spent attempting to look mildly presentable to the rest of the world, and when you're working with maybe 120 minutes max, it feels like a giant waste. Of course, I could skip the blow-out and makeup, but all of the other mothers I hang out with manage to look really pulled together. It's like of like the Arms Race of Motherhood; if we'd all just put down our blow-dryers and mascara, we'd have so much time for other things. But I'll put mine down just as soon as you put yours down...
So this is my advice to those transitioning to a one nap schedule: find a mother who lives near you, who has children exactly the same age as your child, and is very similar to you in terms of lifestyle, personality, and sense of humor. That way, you can bemoan or celebrate every part of your day with a buddy regardless of if you are awake or not. For me, this person would be Deana. I realized the other day, she's not just a friend, she's my co-worker. She's the person that you share a cubicle with at work, and within six months, you realize you've shared every detail of your life up to that point, and when something extremely small (yet hilarious) happens, you don't call your husband (because they actually are working), but you call your co-worker. Your co-worker must also be up for multiple play dates during the same day (since her kids sleep when yours do), trips to Costco, trips to the park, and best of all, trips to your house "after hours" when your husband has to work late so you don't have to eat dinner by your.
This Motherhood stuff is tough, and it's so much better with a buddy. So thank you, Deana, and I hope you managed to get a shower in today.