All Akimbo: Not Napping Nearly Enough

Today was rough. Whoever described two as terrible obviously had not made it to three yet.

Mojo has never enjoyed napping (Does any kid enjoy napping? I wouldn’t know.), but lately it’s become a real issue. Some days I can tell that he doesn’t need one, and we make it through just fine. He goes to bed a little earlier and all is right with the world. Other days – like today – are all wrong.

For the third time this week, I could tell he needed a nap and I tried to get him to sleep. No dice. He was exhausted, and frankly, so was I. I had a lot of work to do this week, and I do the bulk of it when he’s in bed. (We’ve already established that the bed thing hasn’t been happening so much … I obviously wasn’t getting much rest either.)

By mid-afternoon, my patience was wearing thin, and he was pushing every button with a vengeance. In my attempt to stay calm, I joked that he better stop doing what he was doing because if he didn’t I was going to put him in the closet. (Honestly, people, I have never, would never, do that. Just like I would never sell him to the gypsies, which is the threat I made when he was too little to discern the words from my calming tone.)

Things rapidly deteriorated, and as Mojo stomped on the gifts I was trying to wrap for my mother-in-law’s birthday celebration tonight, I picked him up and said, “I think you need to spend some time on your bed.”

You know those times when you realize you have to keep a straight face, or else? As I carried Mojo up the stairs, he wailed, “No, I don’t want to go to my bed! Just put me in the closet!” <Bite lips, do not laugh, bite lips, do not laugh …>

He did not sleep, still, but he sat on his bed for five or 10 minutes flipping through some of the books I left there for him before asking if he could come downstairs. “I’ll be nice,” he promised.

Oh, the guilt! I feel like a lousy mom because I can’t get him to sleep when he needs to. I feel like a lousy mom because I get impatient and snippy with him. I feel like a lousy mom because I have to spend time working (although I am here with him) so I can help pay our household bills, when Mojo would really much rather I be spending time playing with him (and I would really much rather that, too).

Days like today make me feel like a big, fat failure.

We went to dinner with the in-laws, then back to their house for presents and cake, and by the time we made it home it was almost 10 p.m. I had put Mojo’s pajamas on and brushed his teeth before we left their house, hoping against hope that he would fall asleep during the drive. No dice.

Instead, he and I sat on the couch, part of our nightly ritual, to watch his favorite show – Caillou (a.k.a. around here as the whiniest kid on the planet). I kissed my sleepy boy on the head and said, “Tomorrow we’re going to have a good day.” He glanced up at me and said, “But we already are having a good day,” and then went back to his TV show.

Well, huh.