Saturday, August 2, 2008

Frankie Says: RELAX

I wish I knew someone named Frankie...

This week was like running the gauntlet for me. It was and still is exhausting. In fact, I am having a difficult time just getting myself to relax because I am still hyped-up from being so over-scheduled. My mind and body are going a mile a minute.

Which makes me ask -- If I feel this way, how must my children feel?

To help us all chill out a bit, we have had a completely unscheduled weekend. In fact, all of the kids are napping right now (how jealous am I?) And I am finally sitting down to write. What a relief.

You may ask, how do I ever get them to nap? Well, I'll let you in on a little secret. I don't.

The boys, ages 5 and 7, will never lay down for a nap, even when they are tired. I understand why not. After all, they are older and don't need to sleep like they did when they were younger. But, there are days when I know they're exhausted. And they're looking at me with that "I'm not tired!" look. There will be no nap.

I explain to them that I understand they are big and they don't need to nap. But, it's important to work in a little quiet time. I don't call it a nap; I just call it "a rest" and I set a timer on the kitchen stove. When they hear the buzzer, they can get up. Sometimes they do, and we've all had 30 minutes of rest and go on with our afternoon fun. But sometimes (like today) they're so focused on listening for that buzzer that they drift off to sleep.

I look at their sleeping as a sign that they needed the rest anyway. But the important part is that their bodies told them it was time to sleep -- not me. And the side-benefit is that I get a little quiet in the middle of my day, whether they fall asleep or not.

Even Frankie would agree that's a good thing.

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