nap strike & its discontents

so. i don’t know what’s going on with ramona but her naps have gotten crazy. when she stopped being a sleepy newborn that just passed out all the time wherever she happened to be, she segued into taking two naps a day. at first they were usually like three hours each but they slowly scaled back to about an hour & a half a piece. & they were pretty predictable. i could count on her getting sleepy about three hours after waking up in the morning, taking an hour & a half nap, waking up, partying for another three hours, going down for another hour & a half, & then powering through until bedtime. none of this was a guarantee, but it’s usually how things went down. & it wasn’t hard to put her down for a nap. a diaper change, a bottle, a gentle transfer into the crib, toss a blanket over her & she was pretty much good to go.

but in the last week, things have changed dramatically. we’ve had a few days where she only took one nap. all day. & it was like 45 minutes. if you don’t think wrangling a non-walking eleven-month-old who refuses to nap can be utterly exhausting, you must not have kids.

so every day, i get up, i drink my coffee, i eat my breakfast, & i try to steel myself for whatever ramona is going to do with me. i don’t know if this is a permanent change or if it’s just a temporary thing she’s doing while she grows some new teeth & tries to learn how to walk or whatever, but i can no longer look at the clock & think, “okay, she’ll be asleep by 10am & i’ll be able to do some writing/sewing/reading then & maybe take care of this other chore i’ve been putting off.” i just have to try to shoehorn everything in to the little dribs & drabs of naps she gives me & engage in a fair amount of benign neglect (washing dishes while she systematically pulls all of her clothing out of her dresser, for instance).

i have decided i need to be much more protective of my time. i realized i was wasting a lot of time looking at stuff on facebook that i either didn’t care about or found actively upsetting. well, maybe not a lot of time. but any time at all is probably too much. so i quit that annoying parenting community i complained about in a recent post. the final straw was another dumb vaccine argument. for the record, i am pro-vaccine. & i don’t think it’s just another consumer decision a parent makes, like whether or not to dress their kids in organic cotton. a person who doesn’t vaccinate is affecting everyone else’s kids. & i could not handle one more second of these anti-vaccine people being all, “i just think it’s really important that people educate themselves & do their research.” really? on the internet? i mean, seriously, when you ask what research they’ve done, they inevitably link you to one of those crazy conspiracy websites that nestles its anti-vaccine coverage in between articles about scientists being abducted by fairies or whatever.

i just got really sick of the condescension & the superiority. “oh, you made a different choice than i did. it must be because you’re dumb.” one thread exploded into a bunch of anti-vax people saying things like, “i want to punch that lady in the throat,” in reference to a woman who wrote an article criticizing the anti-vaccine movement for being scientifically unsound. & a moderator was like, “thanks for your insightful commentary!” & was actually being sincere!

so i quit. it was too enraging. & then i went on a blitz on my facebook. i hid everyone who posts really long rambles i don’t care about, too many photos of their babies doing shit i don’t think babies should be doing (like playing with ipads), links to super-obnoxious i’m-more-radical-than-you blogs, links to bad things happening to kids, too many dumb memes that they think are funny but are just boring, etc. as i perused my newsfeed, if i felt even a flicker of annoyance with anything i saw, i just hid that person outright. & now my facebook is so much easier to handle! it only takes a few minutes to scan through it & nothing enrages me. mostly.

i still have more shit on my to-do list than i will ever be able to do though. i still can’t figure out where to cut back. i’m trying to just not stress too hard & just do things in a way that feels organic. i try to prioritize the things that are obviously important/time-sensitive & fit other things in when i have a few minutes. but it’s hard. i have a few big things that really need to get done by the end of the year, so i’m putting them front & center & just accepting that i will probably not make it to the pool again in 2013. but i’d like to start going after the new year. & i’d like to try to strengthen my friendships with people now that ramona is older & i am less shell-shocked by the whole new baby thing. i miss my friends. i miss adult interaction. i miss being reminded that there is more to life than putting away laundry & dealing with the poop spatula. i miss writing. i miss a lot of things.

also stressful, & something that will probably come up a lot in the coming months: we have no idea where we will be living as of, say, june. jared is applying for fellowships, grants, & post-docs. if he gets any of them, we may be moving away from lawrence for good. but where to? northampton? philly? minneapolis? eugene? these are all possibilities. but he might only get funding for the summer. he’s like, “that could be cool. spend the summer in northampton with david & alana.” i was like, “where will ramona sleep?” jared thought for a minute & said, “the pack n’ play.” “& how will we get it there?” i asked. he had no answer. so the stress point for me is less the idea of spending the summer in northampton, which does indeed sound awesome, & more the fact that it will pretty much be up to me to work out baby logistics.

there’s also the possibility that no funding will come through & we will spend another year in lawrence. but we’ll have to move anyway because i cannot handle having two adults & a two-year-old in this tiny house. i crunched the numbers & the most i could afford in rent without significantly impacting my current lifestyle is $850 a month. that, surprisingly, doesn’t go that far in lawrence. we’ll either have to sacrifice location & live in a nice place that necessitates driving everywhere, or we’ll have to sacrifice aesthetics & live in a dump that is walkable to everything. i wish there was some way for our current adorable, well-located house to just sprout a second story with an extra bedroom.

& of course we can’t start planning for any of this yet because we have no idea what to plan for. so. that’s fun.

Published by Ciara

Ciara Xyerra wrote zines for the better part of two decades. She has a brilliant & adorable preschooler named Ramona & sews as much as she possibly can. She lives in Lawrence, Kansas with her boyfriend. She enjoys catching up on "The New Yorker", meatball subs, keeping it cranky, intersectional post-third wave feminism, dinosaurs, & monsters. If you have nothing nice to say, she recommends that you come sit here by her, so you can say not-nice things together.

2 thoughts on “nap strike & its discontents

  1. Ciara – I just happened upon your blog as I was trying to sort out a potentially catastrophic tenant/lease situation in Lawrence, which I see you know well. :/ I’m very new to the area and, as this particular issue is unexpected, I need some local perspective from the tenant’s (my) side. Would you mind if I emailed you? thanks 🙂 – Molly

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