It’s just us in the afternoons now. First time in 11 years that I get to hang out with an “only” on a regular basis. First time in six years that I’ve had a two year old running around without a baby strapped to me. (Our two middles are three years apart. Remember us praying for him?!)
There have been a lot of firsts this year, and I find myself changed. Less rushed. Less annoyed at inconvenience. (Cleaning up toddler spills while nursing a newborn is so very inconvenient!) I think it’s that light at the end of the tunnel. I want to savor the dawn.
At the beginning of the school year and our new, quiet, afternoon routine, I was sure that I would get 2 hours of uninterrupted work time and feel oh, so productive. But, no. Better, actually, was her plan. When the cajoling stopped being effective, we developed a new nap time routine, she and I. I tell her it’s time to read books. She replies, “I get the books! You get you pillow, and get you pig.”
When I’m feeling ornery, I’ll shout out, “Hey J! I’m going to get my pillow!”
She replies, “Get you pig, too!”
Makes me giggle every time.
I sleep with one of the kid’s cast-off pillow pets between my knees. What?! Yes, it’s ridiculous, but I’m old and the cushion feels good!
So every afternoon I collect my pillow and my pig, she selects three books (we sometimes have to review that 3 is not the same as 10), we lie down in her bed, and we read. Flip, Flap, Fly is a current favorite, along with any of the “That’s Not My…” series.
I guard this time with my girl. Work can wait. The phone can wait. Appointments? Forget about it! We read our books, pointing and giggling our way through. When we’re done, she rolls to me and instructs, “Rest our eyes. Nigh night, Mom.”
So we do.
It usually takes less than 5 minutes for her to fall asleep, at which point I get to stare at her little face and just be grateful for a bit before I sneak my way out of her bed and back to my desk.
Most productive afternoons ever.