Thursday, June 24, 2010

Redemption Via Naptime

On the way home from Owen's day camp, I stopped the car on a side street, turned around, and told him, "You need to stop kicking my chair."

Owen retorted, "You need to stop kicking my chair!"

I shot back, "I'm not kicking your chair! You need to stop talking back, young man."

Owen, eyes flashing, replied, "You need to stop talking back!"

"Owen," I said, "You're not the parent!"

"You're not the parent, either. Stop talking to me, Mommy. Please."

Joel chose this moment to fill his diaper with something inhuman and foul. Gasping, I rolled down the window and  said, "We'll talk about this when we get home, Owen."

As I started up the car, he muttered, "I don't want Mommy time. I want Daddy time. Mommy time is boring."

So, when did my four year old morph into a surly eighth grader? I am decidedly not liking this development.

It's so hot that I can barely function. I would take pictures of my living room, strewn with laundry, toys, and discarded sippy cups, but I am too lazy to move. I am  certainly too lazy to cook, which is why my boys had Popsicles, crackers, and cheese for lunch.

After Owen's time-out, talking-to, and the healthful meal listed above, I called Paul and whimpered into the phone, "Please come home early today."

"I can't," he said, not unkindly. I sat on the bed, phone in hand, willing him to call back and change his mind. Instead, I had boys to put to bed for naps, an action that drives me to drink on the best of days.

I have spunky, willful boys that do not like to go to bed. On good days, I tease them into their rooms. We read stories and hug night-nights. On bad days, I say things like, "Get in your room or I'm going to start throwing toys in the trash can!"

I lacked the patience for a good day, and the heat had drained me of any will to yell.

So, I put down the baby, and then I got into Owen's full size bed with him.

"I'm going to take a nap with you," I said.

He smiled at the novelty and said, "You nap, and I'll play."

"No," I said, "Playing is too noisy. You need to help me sleep."

I rested in bed, my eyes closed, my breaths deep and rhythmic. I felt him rustle against me, and it reminded me of the summer days of 2005, when he was growing inside me, too small yet to flutter or kick, but there, nevertheless.

As I drifted into that hazy valley between awake and asleep, I felt him kiss my cheek and heard him say, "Sleep tight, Mommy."

I awoke after a dream, and he was sleeping. His eyes were closed, his hair tossed and sweaty.

It was my own Redemption Song.


Holly said...

I kind of like that lunch! Oh my the napping sounds like my daughter is a little better, but my son...I did not think I was going to survive. I slept with him in a full bed for almost 2 was the only way anyone slept...yes this was at night too!

Beth Zimmerman said...

That was beautiful! And the nap was exactly what both of you needed!

blueviolet said...

What a lovely ending and exactly what was needed!

clearness said...

Aaww that's just way too sweet about him kissing you good-night. Makes it all worthwhile. Everything.

I tell my kids that when they wake up they can watch a movie or go to the basement or go out side.....There are many many more. Their most pleasurable things are held out...until after nap.

Muliebrity said...

Logan hasn't napped in 2 years and I just heard him yell, "No, I'm in charge, Dad! Not you!"

Salt said...

So so so sweet.:) I think that was exactly what you both needed.

And I feel you. This heat is RELENTLESS. It's making me so unmotivated to do anything.

Unknown Mami said...


Tracie said...

He's so sweet! I used to do the same things in order to get my kids to nap. Threats, bribes, laying down with them. I was completely worn out for about 6 or 7 years.

Anonymous said...

Awww. That was like a lovely little bedtime story for me. I'm calm and quiet now. And now I kinda want kids too. Thanks a lot. ;) Anyway, I'm off to watch True Blood now. So much for that calm feeling.

Ms. Moon said...

I am so tired after a day of playing with my grandson that I can barely think but I KNOW this was beautiful and says it all.

adrienzgirl said...

I feel you. It is ridiculously hot here. The heat index was down today. It was a cool 106. The weatherman said, avoid prolonged outdoor activities if possible, and keep hydrated. Really? Ya think?

I don't know why I live in FL. I HATE THIS HEAT!

Poor Mommy, Mommy time is boring? Well, as soon as he gets mad at Daddy, he'll be wanting that sweet nap time with Mommy. Boys always come back to Momma!

Anonymous said...


Simeon does the echo/talk back thing now. I don't know where he learned it, but it drives me up the wall.

Good on you for not leaving him on the side of the road right then and there!

LB said...

My kids have become smarty pants, too.

I'm totally amazed that your 4 year old will still take naps, though!

I miss those days. I always loved taking naps with my kids. Those are some of my sweetest memories. We cuddled and kissed and had quiet time together.

Stephanie aka The Stark Raving Bibliophile said...

Redemption Song -- how beautiful! "Don't talk to me Mommy" is a line I've heard too. Ugh!

Organic Motherhood with Cool Whip said...

Nancy, how do you go from being so hilarious and funny to so esquisitely beautiful and insightful. It's moments like this one, "I rested in bed, my eyes closed, my breaths deep and rhythmic. I felt him rustle against me, and it reminded me of the summer days of 2005, when he was growing inside me, too small yet to flutter or kick, but there, nevertheless." that make me want to bow down and worship you. You are phenomenal. And btw, I have a surly 8th grade 5 year old myself right now too. Arghhhhh!!!!

Minivan Lover said...

This is heart breaking and heart warming. I will cling to the heart warming. :)

Cat said...

My heart is all melty after reading that

*LLUVIA* said...

What a love-warming post! :)
My kind of lunch!! :D

michelle said...

I love this, Nancy


Teachinfourth said...

My students-when they hate me-only do so for a little while. It sounds like it's the same with your son…just a moment of 'pain in the neckness' and then they are who they usually are.