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Sonny has given up his afternoon naps altogether. Well, left to his own devices, he would have done that a year ago, but I insisted on a nap until very recently.

We have stuck to the afternoon nap routine ever since he was a toddler and I was not ready to let it go just yet. As far as I could see, this was very important because:

It helped him relax after a hectic day at preschool.
He woke up refreshed and full of energy in the evening to play and read.
He could stay up late (till 9:45 – 10:00 pm) and have a solid chunk of play time with hubby whose hectic work schedule and long commute otherwise made it very difficult for him to spend quality time with sonny except for weekends (Mornings are always busy, so there is not really time to fit in play then).
And last, but not the least, I needed the downtime myself to recharge my batteries (after all sonny’s sleep times are my only quiet “thinking” times!

So, I insisted on a nap, no matter how reluctant sonny was. And it was fine until a couple of days ago when I realized I was spending more time and energy trying to get him to sleep than the actual time he spent sleeping. Perhaps, it was this or all the recent upheavals in our lives or the fact that I had been under the weather these last few days…I don’t know. But yesterday, I just stopped. I did not retaliate when sonny launched his typical protest slogan: “I, not sleep. I, not sleep. I, not go to bed…”.

I surrendered and I just let him be.

But like everything else in life, it was a conditional truce. I told him he could continue doing whatever he wanted to do as long as he stayed inside the room, did not disturb me and played on his own. Of course, preschoolers don’t really understand “DO NOT DISTURB ME” per se, so for some time, he insisted on me joining his car game, but I remained firm…telling him that I could not join him today as I was tired and unwell and so, needed to rest. Then when everything else failed, I just pretended to fall asleep. After a brief 5-10 minutes more of “Ma, come, let’s play. Wake up. It’s wake up time! It’s good morning time!”, sonny finally gave up and decided to move on.

And these are the 10 things that happened when I stopped “entertaining” my kid deliberately for those brief afternoon hours. [Note: Of course, I did not get any quiet time (Every mother knows that “silence is suspicious” when it comes to our kids….so you gotta keep your eyes and ears open at all times for dubious silence!). But the mere fact that I was left alone and not disturbed for a few hours was enough to rejuvenate me for the evening.] Anyway, here goes the list:

  1. He painted the town red…literally: Red is his favorite color, so yes, he went wild with his “I draw” initiative targeted at the walls, at his drawing book and his toys. He made huge circles on the walls and dubbed them planets and Ferris Wheels, drew triangles and rectangles and dubbed them rockets and some random dots and streaks (comets). Of course for planets, only Mars got the red color, rest were painted as per their designated hues. I remained magnanimous, letting sonny’s imagination sprout wings because we are in the midst of a renovation and his rooms’ walls are yet to be repainted 😉 . So it was not really a big deal, right? So yeah, he painted and painted. And he painted some more on his legs “Hulk”-ing himself green 🙂

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