- Snow Day
- Sick Day
- Stay at home
Saturday was shaping up to be one of those slogs. My wife had commitments all morning and into the afternoon. Both kids were fighting off a cold, and it was to snow/rain all day. I was gearing up for the energy it takes to deal with a stay inside day with both kids having enough energy to be antsy inside but not enough to brave the outdoors.
And then a miracle happened. I lay on the sofa wishing for a bit more sleep. That is not a miracle; it happens all too often. The amazing thing was that I drifted off as the kids played together in the playroom. Every so often one would come in and ask a question or just nuzzle, but for the most part they were self contained until about 10:30! I only had to diffuse one out of control crying yelling fit when my son tried to take something from my daughter. I even worked on her skills in offering him another item of equal interest to distract him from taking what she was currently using.
I was much happier when my body finally got moving. We then spent about 45 minutes exercising with a yoga for families DVD I recently checked out from the library. We had a nice lunch of grilled cheese on homemade bread, and then my son went down for a nap while my daughter had quiet time. Saturday was an amazing reprieve from the usual and the expected.
During the end of high school, I slept in a room with three walls of windows. These were old-fashioned, double-hung windows and not the wall of glass one sees in modern houses, yet they let in lots of light and wasps. The light I loved, the wasps less so. They also provided a spectacular view of Midwestern thunderstorms. I would lay in bed watching the trees thrash in the wind and the electric discharges so grand that they escape the rational. Being surrounded by one of these storms while drifting off to sleep is primal and strangely calming experience.
As a camping family, we often also listened to the sound of the rain on the tent, a big canvas dinosaur that we borrowed from our neighbors. I loved the sound, but being the youngest and sleeping at the foot of the tent on an incline meant that the inevitable leaks always found their way to me. Later in life, I tired of borrowing others’ leaky tents, and I ensured my own tents were water proof. Since then, I have enjoyed many storms and rain showers from the inside of a tent.
One of my favorite ways to awake is to the sound of rain on the roof and the amazing birdsong that always comes with a light morning rain.
It seems that rain has a similarly soporific effect on my children. Their room has a skylight upon which the rain drums a steady rhythm. Monday my son fell asleep in the afternoon as we had a downpour, and he stayed asleep for over two hours, maybe three. I, too, passed out dreaming of my small garden drinking in this water. Mornings, too, when the rain falls leads to a quieter house and longer sleep.
Looking down on the mowed lawn and garden patch.
As a kid but past the time of napping, I could not understand how one fell asleep during the day let alone why one would want to. There was just too much to do, too many books to read, too many places to go. As an adult, this disconnect with naps continued excepting a few special occasions. I quietly chucked at the old gaffers who nodded off with mouth open. And then the world laughed at me. All I can say is, “Thank God For Naps!”
This is true both of my own naps and those of my children. My daughter is mostly past napping, but she has quiet time. Rarely does this result in her actually sleeping, but when she is worn out, she will request a nap. My son had been going through a spell of short naps, but he is now back into the hour to two and a half hour naps. This happens twice a day.
On Sunday, I solo parented until dinner time, and in that time I packed in a great deal. With my daughter’s help, I made bread and mashed sweet potatoes with roasted garlic. We also planted seedlings in the garden, and I even managed to mow the lawn (with my electric mower that did not freak out the kids). My son was strapped in a stroller and so could not get accidentally hit by any gardening or yardwork tools. We did laundry and dishes. We did a lot.
In the middle of the afternoon, my son napped and my daughter took her quiet time resting on me as I moved between conscious and unconscious states. Usually her quiet time involves playing in her play room, and is only quiet in name. Yesterday, she was quiet and mostly resting. The whispered conversations and sharing was a highlight of the day.
I am now one of those fogies who fall asleep during the day, and I relish every chance I get to do it!
Filed under Chores, health