Henry still naps. And not just a little nap, either—two hours, sometimes three. This is unusual among the 3-year-seven-month set, I hear, but I’m not telling him that, and thankfully he rarely reads my blog, so we’re cool. I am eternally grateful for his nap, for those precious hours in which I can work, or clean grout (nothing satisfies more than clean grout, am I wrong?), or talk to my imaginary friends on my handmade cardboard phone.
He wakes up from his naps soaked in sweat. Napping is hard! (Do your kids do this? With the sweating? What do you mean you don’t have kids? What are you doing here?) When he peels himself off his damp mattress, he’s so wet I could swear he’s simply spent his nap joyfully peeing himself.
It doesn’t help that he covers himself in a quilt and won’t let me turn his fan on. His room is like an oven, but he says he likes it. “I like to be all sweaty,” he tells me. Kids are just like us, with their misguided assertions. I keep telling him he can’t like it, because I don’t. But there’s no talking to him.
Until recently he refused to get up from bed when he was done with his nap, He did the same thing in the morning: he would wake and maintain his prone position. The only muscles he moved were in the jaw region, as he would open his mouth and shriek my name, over and over. Scott and I found this unpleasant. You can get up! We told him. You can get up and come get us! We rehearsed it with him, us pretending to sleep in our bed, encouraging him from our room to come to us. And sometimes he would, and how proud we were! Isn’t that cool, we said, how you can get up! He seemed into it, and then the next morning arrived, and the same shrieky Henry alarm terrified us awake. “I couldn’t because I too busy,” he said. Too busy scaring the crap out of his parents.
Then one day it sunk in. He could stand up! The people he lives with were telling the truth, for once! He didn’t, unfortunately, come get us in the morning, when all I’ve ever wanted is for my child to pad into our bedroom and climb into bed with us and cuddle for five or six more hours. No, he decided to try out his fancy new trick after his nap, on a day when I was so deep into my work that I’d forgotten I have a child; I was hunched over my computer when from behind me a damp little hand grabbed my shirt and small voice croaked “I came to get you like you said” and I leaped from my chair and shouted “Oh GOD who told you to do that.” And then I remembered.