routines · schedules · slice of life

Excuses at Naptime #SOL21

I tucked-in Ari for his nap about 15 minutes later than usual. No biggie. That often happens on weekends.

Sensing that he’d be back, I laid down in my bed for a bit to read a novel. 15 minutes later, my intuition was proven correct. Ari found me in my room to discuss going to the bathroom. Once that was settled, I tucked him back into bed, kissed him “good nap,” and closed his bedroom door.

I checked on Isabelle, who was reading in her room. I decided to stretch in our exercise room. Another 15 minutes passed and Isabelle came into my room to ask for her iPad to reserve some books from the library. After a quick chat, we decided we’d finish El Deafo, which we’ve been reading together before bedtime. But, moments after she got the graphic novel from her room, a blond boy appeared and declared, “I don’t feel well.”

Marc was doing the grocery shopping this afternoon. I updated him so he could get a sense of the drama that was happening on the home front. (Bet he was happy to be at Wegmans and Giant!)

“What hurts?” I asked.

“I just don’t feel well,” Ari replied.

“Does your tummy hurt?” I asked.


“Go back to bed and I’ll be in momentarily.”

Ari toddled back to his room. Isabelle and I made a plan to read El Deafo as soon as I got Ari down for his nap — again.

JUST IN CASE something was wrong, I decided to take Ari’s temperature. It was 98.7. Practically normal. He was fine (as I suspected).

“Do you think you don’t feel well because you ate a lot at lunchtime?”

“Maybe…” he replied.

“Probably,” I said. “You ate a sandwich, chips, and a LOT of fruit. Anyway, I’ll see you at four,” I said as I kissed his silken hair and pulled his quilt up to his shoulders.

Somewhere in the middle of the final chapter of El Deafo, Isabelle and I had a visitor.

“My animals are keeping me awake!” Ari declared.

“AR-EEEEEE!” Isabelle declared.

I had about no patience left so I replied with the only kind words I could muster. “Bring them in here and go back to bed.”

“Jeez, I can’t believe him,” Isabelle replied.

“Neither can I!” I said as he hurled multiple stuffies at the bed.

“Can you tuck yourself back in?” I asked him.

“Yes,” he replied.

“Good!” I said under my breath.

Once we finished reading El Deafo and talking about the book’s theme (That’s what happens when your mom is a literacy specialist.), Isabelle went downstairs to do some art. I walked into the exercise room to attempt a workout. No sooner did I have my workout gloves on did I have a visitor.

“What’s happening now?” I asked.

“I’m hot in my room.”

“Well, you are wearing long sleeves and long pants,” I replied. “Maybe you should consider a short-sleeve shirt.”

“I don’t want to wear a short-sleeve shirt,” Ari said.

“Well,” I said marching him back to his bedroom, “I’ll help you pick one out and put one on. That’s what happens when you’re warm. You change into cooler clothes.”

There were about three more back-and-forths before nap time was officially over at four. Despite feeling frustrated, I managed to keep my voice from raising. BUT, when Ari’s earlier bedtime came this evening and Ari started telling me, “The rain is too loud for me to go to bed,” I insisted he go to bed. He started to moan, but I stood my ground. I told him his body required a certain number of hours of sleep per day, kissed him good night, and sent him on his way with Marc.

This quote came to mind with every interaction I had with Ari. One day I will look back on today’s naptime antics and wax nostalgic. (Today is not the day.)
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10 thoughts on “Excuses at Naptime #SOL21

  1. The list of things that keep the kids up can be long and they do show a good level of creativity in coming up with excuses too. They sure can test the patience of a parent. I hope that both Ari and You had enough rest at night.

  2. Oh, Ari! I had one who battled sleep and one who loved sleep! My younger son gave up all naps before he was two and I was not ready! You did a great job of keeping your cool.

  3. Perhaps it wasn’t so enjoyable from your perspective, but you recreated this nap time so vividly that it was a delight to read! I loved how creative Ari’s excuses were. Funny!

  4. This post has just about enough unique mystery and just enough common experiences told with such wonderful dialogue! I was there with you and Ari and Isabelle the whole way.

  5. Oh my goodness! The excuses are so real- I know it’s frustrating in the moment, but it’s quite comical when it’s happening to someone else. Good for you for keeping your cool! The days are LONG…but sweet.

  6. Ah, nap time. I don’t miss those fights… I mean conversations. My favorite part of this post are the last two words, sneakily tucked in there like maybe we won’t notice: “with Marc”. Here’s hoping that not-napping made falling asleep in the evening a little bit easier. (And I love that Gretchen Rubin quote. I think of it often – well, less often now, but still.)

  7. Oh, HEAVENS. I know this, and I have lived this COUNTLESS times. If anyone ever doubted the creativity of youth, all they have to do is watch them stall around nap or bedtime. And yes, I DEEPLY feel that push-pull of wanting (needing!) to stay calm and patient yet feeling like it came at a cost longer-term to my overall patience. The sighs, the under-the-breath responses, they’re important steam valves for us, for sure. Hoping other days are better. As for the quote, as someone who’s entering a NEW section of the forest, I guess, yes, it does seem like the time has flown. Still, it doesn’t take away from the very real sense of frustration, discouragement, and yes, outright anger I felt from time to time in those parenting moments. All of which is to say, I’ve become okay with being both nostalgic for younger days AND happy that they’re in the past. I guess it’s all part of the mix, right…?

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