It seems that the punk is finished with his afternoon nap. He has decided that, as a mature boy with three long years behind him, he is above such things. For several days in a row, I have held my breath as I put him in bed and blow him a kiss, hoping that his eyelids will droop and his sweet head will stay glued to his blue, checkered pillow. But that blasted head has other ideas, and they don't include giving his mama a break.
You see, I am dedicated to the idea of "quiet time" when naps are a thing of the past. The problem is, I haven't yet figured out how to make this time work for us. It seems that as soon as I have tidied some things, brewed my hot cocoa, and sat my sore gluts under a blanket by the fire with some fiction in my hand (sigh), I hear the tell-tale squeak of the punk's bedroom door and little footsteps down the hall. When those footsteps lead to the bathroom, I'm a bit forgiving, although why his little digestive system insists on completing its job 20 minutes into "my" time, I'll never understand. At his call of, "Mom, I'm done!" I lend my assistance, then lead him back to bed. As soon as I put up my feet, he's out again, this time to give me something of his baby brother's that doesn't belong in his room. Every time he interrupts me, I feel that any previous quiet minutes are erased and I have to start over with cleansing breaths.
Today, I decided to lay some ground rules. I've been telling him that he needs to stay in his room until the clock says three-three-zero, but haven't given him incentive to do so. I looked into his big eyes and told him that if he comes out again, he'll have to sit in time-out for three minutes, then go back to his room. Two minutes later, footsteps. So without getting off my chair (I did a P90X core workout yesterday and everything hurts), I set my timer for 3 minutes and told him to sit down on the floor. He willingly plopped down in front of me, then pointed out that the floor is dirty and he should probably move to the seat in front of the fire. Little sneak. Throughout his entire time-out, he happily commented that his back was nice and warm. Not the punishment I had in mind. After his allotted time, I led him back to his room and this time, I had a better plan. If he comes out of his room again, he will have to lie down in bed.
Total silence for the next hour.
Until... "MOM! I'm stuck!"
I ran into his room to find him teetering on his bed, holding a puzzle upside down over his head, trying to prevent it from falling off the shelf. I grabbed it and helped him pick up the pieces. He smiled at me and said gratefully, "Thanks for saving me, Mom."
Total frustration and total bliss, all within 60 minutes. That's parenthood.