Posted: Feb 05, 2014 6:00 AM
 
Caught in the eye of Nap World with one child who never naps, one who sometimes misses naps and one who's sliding between one and two naps, suddenly I get it: Naps are the savior of parenting.

My teapot whistles from the stove, and I jump to extinguish the shrill that threatens to wake two sleeping babies. That's right. Two of my babies are sleeping, one's at school, and I'm drinking tea in the early afternoon while two separate sound machines pump white noise into their bedrooms, promising a nice stretch of rest and quiet.

I've never considered myself one of those moms who clung to naps for sanity, even perhaps going the opposite route (as in insane) with wanting to wake my babies up because I "missed them" while they slept. But here I am, in the eye of Nap World. Three kids — one who never naps, one who sometimes misses naps and one who's sliding between one and two naps — and suddenly, I get it.

Naps! How could I have ever underestimated them?

The only thing worse than a no-nap day is, of course, a half-nap day which I like to compare to taking your kid to Disney World, walking one step toward the Magic Kingdom and then turning around to go home.

The true value of naps is most evident with my middle child who, experimentally speaking, works as a great control subject as her nap days can easily be compared to her no-nap days — the results of which give us very good reason to avoid the old "Let's skip it" approach to naps. Naps tame the beast that lives within all 3-year-olds — the one that breathes fire when you serve milk in a blue cup instead of a pink cup or, God forbid, hand over a Saltine that's not fully intact. The only thing worse than a no-nap day is, of course, a half-nap day which I like to compare to taking your kid to Disney World, walking one step toward the Magic Kingdom and then turning around to go home. Naps are so precious, 'tis better to have never loved one at all than to have loved one and lost it.

Naps are the childhood happiness elixir, the whine eraser, the meltdown exterminator. And while naps are working their magic on babies, they deliver this amazing bonus gift to moms — the hour of power. Fold laundry, drink tea, read a book, wipe a counter, wrap gifts, finish a project, take a bath, do a cartwheel, run out the door and twirl in a circle singing "The Hills are Alive!" but whatever you do — Don't. Wake. The. Children.

This post courtesy of Afternoon Naps.

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