My toddler only napped for 15 minutes the other day. Around nap time we took a walk to the post office and he fell asleep in the stroller. Upon arriving home we quietly transferred him to his bedroom as he slept snugly on our shoulders and did not wake. While going to put him down into bed we took off his sunglasses and he woke up immediately. So close! Explaining to him that it was still nap time, quietly tucking him in and telling him to have a good nap didn’t seem to be enough. For the hour following my youngest son had physical therapy at our home and while chatting about his progress and learning new strengthening exercises to do with him, the physical therapist and I listened to the toddler babble away and not sleep. After the session was over I put the baby to sleep and went into the toddler’s room to explain to him that he needed to rest quietly for a little while even if he didn’t sleep before it was time to get up. I knew 15 minutes was not a long enough nap! By this point it was almost 3 in the afternoon, I knew he likely wouldn’t sleep and all I had to eat all day was my morning coffee. I went into the kitchen, turned on some music and made myself a delicious and nutritious smoothie. I drank it while reading for a few minutes followed by a very quick sun salutation. After taking this short time for myself, I decided it had been long enough for the quiet time, especially since he was still playing and talking to himself and not actually being that quiet. I went into his room and he immediately started throwing a fit on the floor. I suspected it would be a long second half of the day before bedtime since crankiness often is the result of little or no nap. I asked him if he was mad at mommy for leaving him by himself for quiet time and the fit continued. I told him I was sorry he was feeling so sad and that I was going to go play and put a smoothie for him on his table in his play area. I left his room and walked down the hall to do so and he quickly trailed behind me. I sat down on the floor in his play area and he came and sat upon my lap to drink his smoothie and just snuggled. After a few moments of wonderful snuggles I heard the baby start to coo (luckily he didn’t wake up unhappy). I asked my oldest if it was okay if I went to get the baby which would mean he would have to get up off mommy’s lap. He very sweetly said no and snuggled in closer. I soaked up these snuggles as a few more minutes went by and listened over the monitor to the baby cooing happily. Then I checked in again with the toddler who was still sitting upon my lap snuggled in closely (this is rare these days as he’s often on the move, learning and exploring and playing). “I bet the baby is hungry and might need a diaper change. I should probably go get him soon. Would that be okay?” ….A very sweet little no came from his mouth again as he leaned against me once more. He only wanted his mama. I realized this was a gentle reminder. Even though my toddler often has an independence that no one can interrupt, wants to do everything by himself most of the time and often throws fits of frustration when he’s tried something for awhile and he can’t quite accomplish a task by himself, he’s still little. He may be big compared the the baby but he is still small. He may be on the move most of the time but he still has so much love for his mama and needs me. I wanted to sit and snuggle him for hours. Luckily for me, the baby was still cooing happily and I was able to enjoy this moment where my toddler wanted nothing but his mama for just a little longer. My heart is still so warm thinking about this moment that we had together, just him and me.
Want to see some Mama snuggles?