Toddler

Dear 2-Year-Old, Don't You Dare Give Up Your Nap

by Amy Wruble

Photograph by Amy Wruble

Dear 2-Year-Old,

What an exciting year it’s been! You peed on the potty at least as many times as you peed on the floor. You learned how to escape your stroller and sprint towards oncoming traffic. You pulled one sock over half your foot “BY MYSELF.”

I get it: You’re a big girl now, and you have some demands:

You want to eat at the table instead of in your high chair, even if it means Mommy’s on constant spill patrol? Fine.

You want to choose your own sleepwear, which (according to you) is a ballet tutu? Sure, OK.

You want to play all day and never ever take a nap? Not happening, girlfriend.

I don’t care that you’re “not tired” (usually something you whine bitterly while rubbing your eyes and yawning). Mommy is tired. And that is just one of many reasons why you must continue napping, preferably until middle school.

You probably don’t realize what’s at stake here. After all, when I put you down for a nap, I usually lie to you and tell you I’m going to take a nap too, because that’s the only way to satisfy your severe FOMO. But the truth is, your afternoon nap is the key to Mommy’s sanity. It’s the difference between having a mom like Carol Brady (shall we needlepoint a throw pillow?) and Betty Draper (be a dear and bring Mommy her martini and cigarettes).

Your nap is everything.

Your nap is my anger management. Your nap is my Prozac. Your nap is better than chocolate. I beg you, please don't give up your nap.

While you are dreaming about ice cream dates with Peppa Pig and Suzy Sheep, I am moving the long-forgotten wash into the dryer, tossing about-to-expire ingredients into a slow cooker, and doing a few squats and calf raises because I passed my butt in the mirror this morning and I did not like what I saw.

While you are clutching your stuffed panda with a blissed out look on your sleeping face, I am agreeing to volunteer for the potluck and donate to the clothing drive and organize a toddler dance class. Without your nap, I very much doubt I would be so agreeable.

And, while you are drooling softly in your pillow palace, I am writing checks, clearing the lunch plates, talking to customer service and squeezing an 8-hour work day into roughly 45 minutes (this is why they pay me the small bucks).

I also do all of my self-care, which might include showering, watching last week’s "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" and closing my eyes for a few moments of quiet meditation (aka daydreaming about a deck chair in the Caribbean).

If you give up your nap, I fear we will live in squalor and eat nothing but cheese and crackers. Maybe that doesn't sound so bad to you, but do you know what would sound bad? The yelling. I anticipate a sharp uptick in shrill maternal screeching. Your nap is my anger management. Your nap is my Prozac. Your nap is better than chocolate. I beg you, please don't give up your nap.

Love,

Your Mom Who Needs You to Nap, in Case That Wasn't Clear

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