Editor’s Note: Enjoy this guest post from NYC Dads Group member and one of the trophy husbands featured on Nightline, Gregory Jobson-Larkin, as he shares the lengths he goes to get his child to nap.
In this PC explicative, touch-screen driven, neo multi-lingual urban communicative iGeneration we now thrive in; we parent-persons have all dropped a few three-lettered “N” bombs explicitly directed at our toddler-aged children from time to time.
Haven’t you? Ok, if not the three-lettered “N” word, definitely you’ve used the three-lettered “E” bomb.
In Twilight Zone black and white, “picture this,” an all too familiar scene:
A clear pigment light fixture precariously dangles amid a lightly smoke-filled atmosphere; an ignored smoke alarm blares in the innocuous background; the room, strategically equipped with stainless steel technology upon granite-top surfaces, sets an ominous tone. A child occupant, sitting in a toddler chair, glares in defiance and trepidation awaiting the plot-twist horror of YOU as “The Interrogator.” Wooden spoon grasped tightly in hand, gesturing the terms of your captive child’s capitulation you say, “We have ways of making you “Eat” … so, I think it’s “Nap” time!”
It’s all too surreal, one can almost hear the orchestral punctuation, in 3D surround sound, of course.
Who hasn’t leveraged the weight of the dreaded three-lettered “N” word, “Nap”, in lieu of securing toddler obedience? Confess, own it, Yo!
You “Nap Nazi,” using the secret police coercion technique of the: “If/Then” interrogative method. Amnesia? Maybe this will jog your memory: “If you Nap now. we’ll have even more fun later, ok?” This is usually said to be a “fat chance” stone-faced, single-minded, and determined mini-mind. Face it, children at any age are sweet, but for the record, they can be tough cookies.
Julien, our 19-month-old son ‘high fives’ passers-by, dogs, cats and other stable creatures on his red carpet, velvet roped stroller ride through bustling Manhattan street life while listening to iPhone’d Luciano Pavarotti serenades and dealing with a flirtatious adoring public. Wow, what a life!
In my dream world, Julien naps undisturbed from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and then again from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m, of which these times would vary based on:
(A) Level of physical activity, such as running through the park or just observing the park’s nature, flora, fauna and the odd, dirty left-behind candy wrapper;
(B) Intensity of external stimuli, such as new playmates, pokey-fingered parents, and their unsolicited curious interactions; and
(C) Drowsiness before or after feeding times, frankly I don’t know which one is worse. Either way, it’s game over for me.
In the dreamy conclusion of my make-believe world, he gets his nap on; observing it religiously, the necessity thereof for such. He quietly demands “pee pee” relief and then relieves an ample breast full of milk prior to his sweet retirement. With drink-of-choice in hand, Julien falls asleep; ahhh, what a dream life for me!
However in reality, intense kicking and screaming comes to mind regarding the subject of “Nap Time,” and I possess no lactation capabilities in these memoirs.
So, I’ve observed the following interesting phenomena that Julien exhibits, possibly you too may recognize them:
1. Sublime Determined Ignorance: “I’ll call you whatever you want, all day long, if you don’t make me take a Nap!”
2. Unconventional Collaboration: “I’ll do what you want for a sugary snack, yes; maybe even two sugary snacks..”
3. Staged Rage: “Are you watching, are we rolling film? Ok, action! And the Best Tantrum Award goes to…. wait for it… Me!”
4. The Negotiator: “No, don’t want Teddy; no, don’t want blanket; no, stop patting my tush; I don’t want lap time; no, no, no!”
5. A Made-Up Mind: “I’ll just lay here, but I won’t go to… s-l-e-e-p.”
Shush, the baby’s finally s-l-e-e-p-i-n-g; night-night; it’s only 1:00 p.m. in the afternoon, and you two have the whole rest of the day ahead.
Sweet dreams, and get your “Nap” on, parent-people!