Wednesday, September 21, 2011

On throwing in the towel

I was a scorekeeper for our school's wrestling team for a while. I learned a lot.
When time was up the referee would throw a rolled up towel into the mix to let the wrestlers know to quit. While I'm sure each wrestler felt aggravated at not getting to win by pinning, I'm willing to bet they were secretly glad to have such an evenly matched fight ended for them. Those matches could go on well past three minutes (which is a long time to be trying so hard).

Many of you who read this know that I struggle daily to get my energetic toddler to take a nap. Sometimes he is so tired I try more than once. I am becoming even more unsuccessful with each day. On the bright side, he is in bed by 7:30 most nights, and sleeping until 6:30 or 7 most mornings- a solid 11 to 12 hours. I've heard that some kids don't need more, but he is just so tired sometimes I don't see how that could be the answer for my little guy.

I've tried trying to nap earlier, which ends in frustration. I've tried making him more tired, which ends in downright meltdowns sans sleeping at the end. I've also rejoiced when he does take a nap-a very rare occurrence indeed-and then sometimes finding him more cranky than before he fell asleep.

I made some choices early on in his short 2 1/2 years that I'm not making with Jubilee. For example, I am teaching her to fall asleep without nursing and giving her regular naps so that they become routine for her. With Shira I would just let him fall asleep whenever. Usually he nursed to sleep because it was the only way I could get him to sit still. I was basically tricking him. It was a good choice then.

I don't blame him for wanting to stay awake. This is an awesome world, full of so many things to learn about. But I do know when he is tired.

I also know when I am tired. Now, don't laugh as I tell you this. I hate taking naps. I wake up feeling worse. Sometimes, though, I am just so tired I go lie in bed just for a 5 minute "rest", and wake up 2 hours later, groggy, shaky, and mad as a bull.

I only mention this because today I fell asleep while trying to get Shira to take a nap. I woke up to the sound of singing toddler toys and a bouncing-off-the-walls boy. I kid you not.

And while I was trying to overcome the shakes, see things non-blurred, and get a handle on what was making which noise, it occurred to me that Shira and I are not all that different when it comes to naps. Neither of us wants to nap. We both just fall asleep sometimes and wake up worse than we started.

So maybe I shouldn't try so hard to get him to do something when I can understand so completely why he doesn't want to do it. We are evenly matched, in a way.

And we have plenty of towels.


  1. The only thing I can think of saying or should say is that God has chosen you to be Shira's Mama:)) !! He knew you could meet the challenge-Match!

  2. P.S. Isn't it wonderful being a mother to Shira and Jubilee. No answer required. :) loves mama

  3. I do love being a mama. For a whole week now I've been doing my best to tell myself, "he is two, not 4 or 5, so he needs help and compassion and patience". I haven't lost my mind once!