Waiting it out.
Goddamn overalls in the dryer (Henry’s–I may not be glamorous but I draw the line at overalls). Their steady clang-clonk at every revolution must be what’s keeping the kid from napping. Or any number of things.
I’ve never had the stomach for crying at nap time. At night, we’ve managed to ignore the non-urgent sounding cries and calls out for “more nurse” and “three blankets, please!” and “my ‘chool bus? where my ‘chool bus go?” in the service of getting everyone sleep, a noble enough cause to quell my tendency to wonder, and resent my partner for not wondering, “but what if something is wroooooong?” But day time crying, yikes.
And yet, here I am. Writing this while Hank cries. Well, he’s not crying exactly. He’s just babbling and whining. But I feel crushing guilt if I’m not paying every ounce of my attention to him every single second of our awake time, something else I probably need to get over. But if he doesn’t take a nap today we are absolutely screwed. We have a family get together in a public eating setting at 5, and there is no chance we’ll all survive if the kid doesn’t get some rest already. He was already flipping out on our errands this morning, and at one point screeched “I WANTA NAP WITH IRON MAN!” which I took to mean he was a wee bit overtired. Also that he is partial to Iron Man.
But he’s going through a very inconvenient monkey-baby phase, where he wants to cling to me every moment. The thing is, Hank has never been a good cuddler. As an infant, he just didn’t like to hug or cuddle or be held affectionately, never resting on you, always stiff straight in your arms looking around (like, holding up his head and turning it around and around the very DAY HE WAS BORN). Now he loves to hug and kiss and hold hands. But when he is really starved for affection, he doesn’t want to hug you. He wants to be INSIDE YOU. He headbutts you with force, trying to get his head and yours to occupy the same space. He burrows underneath you in bed like a goddamned cat. He puts his giant head under your chin and tries to be one with your neck. Then, inevitably, he is distracted by something, and you see stars as he cracks his dome into your jaw and you bite your tongue near off.
He weighs over 30 pounds, so we’ve loved that he’s been happy to walk, holding both our hands, everywhere. Today was the first day he vetoed sitting in a cart at the store. And the past week there has been lots of “NO! MOMMY LIFT!” and “CARRY ME PLEASE!” when we ask him to walk.
My back is killing me. My jaw still hurts. My tongue is barely holding itself together.
But it would appear he’s finally settled down up there. And therein lies the wisdom of just closing the door on your toddler. You may agree or disagree; you may be more able than me to deal with the whining, or you may think it shockingly cruel to impose nap time. But it worked.
And we may, or may not, make it through this evening’s get-together.