You would think I would have given up on naptime after 18 choruses of ABCs and countless failed attempts to decipher what he wanted as “other song.” Nope. Or after I tried laying down with D in my bed and he screamed. Nope. Or after I tried leaving him to play in his room to yet more screaming. Nope.

Then I tried to remember that D is a whole little human, and since he no longer has to nap to function, I couldn’t really force a nap. Maybe he could have quiet time in his room? Nope. Maybe he could read books on the living room floor while I wrote on the couch? Yes? Yes! We had a deal. A Thomas sleeping bag and a pile of 10 books later, D was sitting cross-legged on the floor.

Perhaps some writers can draft no matter the background, but for me, a kid reading Chicka Chicka Boom Boom at top volume meant no room for quiet reflection. Instead, I was staring at the sleeping bag that D had vacated in order to read his books while alternately climbing on my legs and tugging at the Thomas band-aid covering the blister I got when I walked too far in new shoes in the previous day’s attempt to get him to stroller nap.

I imagine many of you have had one of these moments. Your child is doing something absolutely wonderful (like reading independently, or “feeding” his stuffed animals, or splashing in the kitchen sink pretending to wash dishes), but because he isn’t doing the thing you wanted him to be doing, you find yourself increasingly irate. I was well into my own quiet (fuming) time when D ran over.

Mama! I give you my hugs.

1 hug. [a lap around the coffee table]
2 hugs. [another lap]
3 hugs. [another lap]
4 hugs.

After 30 seconds of that, I wasn’t fuming anymore. And I had something to write about.

Originally published at

Originally published at