For nine months we dream about what our babies will look like. What traits will we share. For me? I scoffed when my husband stated with absolute certainty during my first pregnancy that our daughter would have blonde hair and blue eyes. Sure, my husband was a toe-head growing up, but I came from a family of strong, dark, dominant features. Well, here we are, 7 years later with three blonde-haired blue-eyed girls. So, naturally I began to wonder what other traits we might share since obviously they didn’t get my physical features. Would they take after my love for art, cooking, and photography? What subjects would they be strong at in school? Would we share the same humor or style? Or would they have more in common with their dad?
Our oldest daughter (7) shares her father’s taste in music and love for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Our middle daughter (4) loves to create beautiful food with me and even insists I photograph her plates just as I do mine. So, as our youngest daughter started to grow and develop a personality of her own, I was anxious to see what traits we’d share. Sure enough, there were strong similarities. During those 9 months she spent in my growing belly I must have instilled in her a love and appreciation for napping. If you think I’m joking, let me assure you I am not. I love to nap. Frankly, I’m quite good at it. I can sleep anywhere at any time. It’s not always a good thing, especially when you’re in kindergarten and can’t manage to stay awake on the bus ride after school. The bus driver would find me still asleep at the end of his route and have to figure out where I was supposed to be. But this isn’t about me, this is about my daughter, Quinn. When she was around 1 year old she began wandering into the kitchen during the day to take a short catnap on my kitchen mat. Soon it was a daily occurrence as she would grab her blanket and I would follow behind watching as she found the perfect spot on the mat and curled up for a nap. I would try to hold back my laughter as I watched her fall asleep.
For the first month she took a catnap in the same spot on the kitchen mat. However, if I was busy cooking she would get angry and go sleep in front of the refrigerator door. Funny… adorable… and downright annoying when you’re trying to cook Thanksgiving dinner. Luckily, these only lasted 10-20 minutes usually.
However, she soon discovered other spots to nap – chairs, highchairs, on top of the coffee table, on boxes, and in the middle of the living room floor were among her favorite spots. I began collecting videos and images of all of her naps. She would even climb into her high chair when it wasn’t meal time because she liked to nap in it.
Before you ask, “Why didn’t that mom put that poor girl in her crib for a real nap?” know that I did. Every day she took at least 1-2 lengthy naps in her crib. She went down for bed at a reasonable time and almost always slept through the night. But, her little body needed to rest, and she was wise enough to listen. Can you imagine how great would it be to have the freedom to gather up your favorite blanket and toy and crash whenever you needed to? No responsibilities, no to-do list…. ahhh… I’m getting sleepy just thinking about it.
For almost a year the highlight of my day was to see where she would take her daily catnap. But now she’s growing and her body is adjusting to her typical one nap a day. I’m a little sad to close this sweet little chapter of her life but I have a feeling that her and I will always share a special love for the art of napping. What phases have your children gone through that you were sad to see end?