I had two big fears about having two kids. The first was that C and I would grow apart. The second was that the child who insists on being the focus of everyone’s attention would make putting her sister down for a nap impossible.
I couldn’t have been more wrong. In fact putting Maddy down for naps has made C and I closer.
- Being a naturally inquisitive sort, she likes to walk past the bedroom door where I am rocking her baby sister. She always stops to give me a smile. So I blow her a kiss. She blows one back. I make my hands into the shape of a heart. She tries the same. In the early weeks, this was the only form of affection that I got from her (since the baby sister was my fault), but it was a special moment between us at least once a day.
- I get to hear her play. While I was working it broke my heart to be away from her and always felt like I was only a “part-time” parent. While that is categorically untrue (the fact I was heart broken proves I can’t turn off the parent), I was missing out on a lot of her playtime. Now, I can listen to what she is doing, since she narrates everything, and plan activities based on her interests. If I hear her playing restaurant with her bear during morning nap, and she serves pancakes, we will make pancakes for lunch and let her bear sit at the table with us. It’s not always big, and she doesn’t always get the connection, but she’s much more cooperative and fun when lunch is a “game.”
- While this is one that only worked before we had giant casts to contend with, I am hoping we’ll be able to resume it again, the three of us would climb into the rocking chair in the nursery, and read books. Snuggled up tight, C got the attention she needed so much in those first few tumultuous weeks, and the gentle rocking would put Madeline to sleep. Fortunately, while this one doesn’t happen any more, the next one has made up for it.
- After I’ve put Madeline down for one of her naps just after lunch, the two of us snuggle up on a chair in a sunbeam that streams through our living room window and read “so many” books until it is her time for nap (where she gets MORE books as part of naptime routine. Because this girl loves her books). Usually lunch dishes are still on the table and more than once the milk, the cheese or the peanut butter is still sitting out too, but it’s “our time”.
Not every nap goes so smoothly. There are times C insists on playing in her sister’s rom. There are time she insists on running and jumping right outside the door. And there are times where it’s just easier to turn on Dinosaur Train (thank goodness for the remote app that lets me control the Apple TV from my iPhone). But at no point has naptime been the disaster I feared it would be on a daily basis.