Today was not a surprise. No eyebrows were raised today. Today was just one baby step more on the way to the dawn of a bleak and terrible new era in our lives as parents.
OK. Parenting is no walk in the park... actually it's a whole lot of walks in the park but pedantry aside, it has its ups and downs and one of the ups is that oasis of peace and quiet that comes somewhere in the middle of every day as one puts one's blinking offspring into their bed and straps them down for the ritual of the afternoon nap.
I was informed by Those Who Have Gone Before that children begin to give up their naps around 2 years of age. I didn't need to be informed of this because one of my clearest and earliest memories is of standing outside of my bedroom door with my baby brother sleeping in behind me, looking up at my mother and arguing that I was not tired and did not need a nap and would furthermore never have a nap again. I don't recall the outcome, hopefully she administered some enforced nappage and sat in the livingroom with a friend and a gin and tonic, who knows?
Either way, with the spud being two and a half, the frog and I are living on borrowed time as far as daytime napping goes. The spud moved to one nap a day quite early on however it was a spectacularly long nap. This however has become 1 to 2 hours and for the last few months he has routinely skipped it at least twice a week. Conversely the amount of trickery, argument, cajoling, cuddling and warm milk required to get him down on the remaining days has increased substantially.
Today was pretty marathon. Despite the fact that he'd been up since 6am, by 2pm he was still insisting he didn't want a nap. 20 minutes of sitting in his bed whingeing and wailing and making rude gestures at me was followed by 20 minutes in which I cuddled him, told him I loved him and patted his back while he hit me and kicked me and screamed until, in the middle of perhaps the 200th repetition of 'NO nap', he dropped suddenly and deeply to sleep.
Normally I wouldn't bother but at the moment he's not very well and isn't eating. He's tired but reacts to exhaustion in the same way as I do: by resisting until hallucinating with the need to sleep and so stern measures were in order to get rid of those black circles under his eyes. It paid off in that while he only slept for under an hour, he awoke sunny and sweet, ate a huge meal and went happily off to sleep at bedtime.
Once he's well again however I suspect that it won't be long before those few hours of solitude disappear for the forseeable future; I however am not going down without a struggle. Oh no. He's going to need a hell of a lot of warm milk to win this one I tell you.