My Big Girl is in the process of giving up her nap. Or thinks she is. Wants to be.
I'm not a fan.
I call it Quiet Time now, and give her a pile of books. I leave her light on. Say "see you later." Every other or every third day, she falls asleep. Some of the in between days she stays in there calmly for almost an hour, looking at her books and singing to herself, while I take care of her sister, clear the lunch dishes, start a load of laundry, and scarf down way too much chocolate.
Today, after about 20 minutes of her jumping on the bed, screaming, and banging on her door, I had to concede that I wasn't getting a break and go rescue her.
Today was not a good day. I've had a lot of not good days lately.
I've never dealt well with transitions. I don't know why these children of mine insist on changing so much and so quickly. I don't know how people know when it's time for the next thing, or how to do it when they get there. Should my big girl be potty training yet? Should she be nap free? Should she go to bed earlier/later? Should the baby move out of our room and to her crib? Should she be on a nap schedule? Should she be eating solid food?
How do people know these things?
I read the books in the beginning. I googled like crazy. I asked for advice. And all any of that ever did was make me feel icky and incompetent and wrong.
"Trust your mama gut," everyone tells me now. "Just go by your kids' signs."
My mama gut must be defective. And my kids' signs are apparently written in a language other than English. Because I don't know a damn thing about how to parent them.
After the quiet time that wasn't today, BG was in a sour mood, and I was too. I couldn't engage with her, couldn't connect. She wanted to watch TV, but I already felt like crap from hanging around the house all morning, so I wanted to go.
"Do you want to go to the park? The library? Play outside?"
"I don't wanna do aaaaaaanything."
"Do you want to put Baby Sister in her stroller and go for a walk?"
Her eyes lit up. "Pick up Baby Sister. Put me in a stroller."
I was reluctant at first, as I was pretty sure it was her that needed to be tired out and not me, but I quickly gave in because it was Something To Do. I walked. I walked and walked and walked, with one child strapped to myself and the other in the jogging stroller. I walked up hills and around the neighborhood, in the 89 degree heat and sun.
And when I looked down, BG was asleep.
Well. I guess that sign was clear at least.