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The Worst Timing in the World

2 days ago, on the day I marked 36 weeks of pregnancy, my two year old did not take a nap. This is the first time this has happened in recent memory – maybe ever – and I don’t like it. Not one little bit.

Our day was pretty normal that day. It was a Sunday so my husband was home with us. We spent the morning playing and acting silly, snacking and giggling. We did laundry, had lunch at our usual time, and I took Poppy into the bedroom to lay down. Just like we always do. We read our usual stories and then settled in together to pass out (as my pregnancy progresses, I join her more and more often).

An hour later, I called out for my husband to please for the love of God come get her. She’d spent that entire hour laying next to me, giggling, talking to her dolls, touching my face, and not sleeping. I managed to doze a little. Sort of. But every time I’d just start to drift off, I’d get a new toy stuck in my face.

“Mommy! Look!”

Or a little finger would suddenly poke me in the eye.

“Your eye, mommy!”

“Yes, honey. That’s my eye.” *poke poke * “Yep, that’s my other eye. Can you please go to sleep now?”

Fortunately, my husband recognized my need for real sleep and happily took the kid from the bedroom and went off to entertain her while I got a decent nap. I kept expecting them to return, her cranky or crying or showing signs of being sleepy, but they never did. When I got out of bed later that afternoon, I found them in the kitchen together, cooking up a storm and having a grand old time. That’s where we spent the rest of the day, stocking our freezer full of hearty homemade meals for those early days after Boo’s arrival.

And the kid who, until that very day, took a reliable 2.5 hour nap every single afternoon apparently decided she’s over it.

We were hoping it was just a fluke, but then yesterday – the first day of our first week home again together full-time – she did it again. Only this time, I didn’t handle it as well.

We spent the morning playing with a friend and when we got home, Poppy told me she was tired. So I carried her sleepy little self into the bedroom, laid her in bed with her best guys, and snuck out, planning to sneak back in and climb into my own bed for a nap as soon as she was unconscious. Two hours later, we’d had a lot of back and forth, I’d gone in to check on her about two dozen times, and SHE WAS STILL AWAKE.

And I was a blindsided, exhausted, hormonal pregnant mess over it.

I emailed my husband in desperation and when he responded by calling and then daring to chuckle at my misfortune, I hung up on him.

I took to Twitter, looking for attendees at my personal pity party, and found them. (Fellow Twitter moms are always great for a little empathy in your darkest moments.)

And then I went and got P from bed, plunked her on the couch in front of Curious George, loaded her up with food, and sat down in my recliner to ponder what the hell was going on.

I’ve been joking with people that our super reliable kid who thrives on routine would probably wait until the worst possible moment to throw us for a loop after Boo arrived… and now I’m wondering if I jinxed myself. Maybe this isn’t the end of her naps. It seems awfully abrupt, so perhaps it’s just a blip in routine while she works through a new developmental milestone of some sort. But maybe not.

All I know is that today I’m adjusting my expectations. After all, expectation is the key to sanity.

I woke up telling myself she is not going to sleep today.

After lunch, we’ll read some stories, lay in bed, and I’ll walk out, but I fully expect her to stay awake and just enjoy some quiet time alone for an hour. Or less. I’ll do my best to relax and unwind in that time and then I’ll go get her and we’ll proceed with our day as if this is our usual routine.

I’ve got extra coffee at the ready.

I can do this.

If you have more than one child, did you find the older kids’ routines changing as the baby’s arrival approached? Or did the chaos wait until the new baby had actually arrived? Or were you one of those lucky ones and your kids just handled it all in stride? This gets easier… right?


Follow Jo on Twitter at @outtajo or visit her personal blog, Outta Jo, Onto You.