After over 3 1/2 years, I've decided the days of Jack taking naps from 2-5pm are over. (Yes, I'm in mourning.) It's really tragic because I worked SO hard when he was little to get him on a consistent nap schedule and I lived and died by that schedule - my body was programmed based on his sleep schedule. My whole life was Jack's sleep schedule.
And now I have to learn to adjust. It's probably as big a shift for me as it is for him. (And I'm all of a sudden feeling very bad for all those shifts I put him through: weaning, taking away bottles, crib-to-bed transition... it's rough. Very rough.) The problem was that we'd start winding him down at 9:30 for bed (which is already too late, in my opinion) and it was getting to be later and later before he'd finally settle in to go to sleep... I drew the line at midnight. It was taking away all my time with Justin. It was taking away hours of sleep for me because I still get up early and midnight to 6 am isn't enough. It was making me frustrated and my temper short and we were all going to bed grouchy and upset with one another.
So the naps had to go.
Sigh. I miss the naps.
But I am really enjoying it at the same time... When the twins came along, as elated as I was to be adding to our family (and twice!), a small part of me was incredibly sad to be losing my relationship with him as an only child. With the exception of the hour between when the girls went to bed and when we started putting him to bed, I got no chance to spend time with Jack by himself. I had missed that more than I realized. It's so refreshing to watch him and play with him and talk with him without having to scold him for not sharing or beating up a twin or stealing a juice cup or something. It's amazing to observe his imagination when it's not being hindered by curious toddlers who strive constantly to get in Jack's way.
As I blog now, he's building more miles of train track and chattering away about the city he's constructing in and around his track. He occasionally stops what he's doing, comes up to me and kisses my cheek and says, "I love you Momma; thanks for coming downstairs with me!" and it melts me. I wonder if he missed this as much as I did? And if he did, I wonder if I can ever make it up to him.
It's time like this - time spent with my kids as individuals instead of as a bundle - that reminds me that being the mommy of a several children has a special challenge: I must constantly be aware of the fact that each one has a unique personality and I must always strive to make sure I'm able to devote enough attention to each one of them. Even though I'm exhausted and all I want to do is veg from 2-5 or not have to answer endless questions about everything in the universe for a few hours, it is so rewarding to take a bit of time to be with Jack as Jack... not Jack as the oldest kiddo or the only boy or whatever. Just Jack.
Because in a few (very short!) months, that gift is going to be even harder to come by...
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