Friday, September 20, 2013


Today was a lovely day. For some amazing reason everything just went my way. The culmination of that day was coming home to a daughter who was cheerful, calm but playful, and brimming with excitement about her day.

On June 6, Maddie turned four. Almost to the day, she announced she would no longer nap -- and boy did she mean it. I think that child has only napped about five times all summer. Any time I take her for a ride in the late afternoon, she conks out after about five minutes of drive time. As soon as we get home, I carry her in, set her down on the couch, and she pops up saying crabbily, "I am not napping. I do not take naps." The crabbiness sometimes continues through the rest of the day. Sometimes, far too frequently lately, we also bridge into the realm of rambunctious. Over tired would be my word. But, she does not take naps. I can hear that independent, grown-up emphasis in her voice.

Today was not one of those rambunctious days, because today after Pre-K she took the nap that her little body so desperately needed.

And as I enjoyed the playful time with my darling girl, it reminded me that with the many issues that we moms struggle with -- the balance of time, the battle with patience, the need to discipline, the urge to coddle -- perhaps the greatest is the amazing shift of phases.

Any mom will know what I'm talking about, I'm sure. It seems that kids change phases at least every six months. More when they're babies. You get everything running smoothly and all of a sudden, every routine and every pattern suddenly becomes a frustration. And then you know, 'Whoops! New phase!" Usually this whole process takes place exactly one day after you've figured out your last phase. With Maddie, she changes her phase like clock work. "Oh, today's my birthday? Let's switch things up!" It's a transparent attempt to keep me jumping. I know what she's up to.

As Maddie entered the four phase, I suddenly found myself struggling not only with the new napless wonder, but also a need to scream loudly, repeat everything I say, the development of snark, and my favorite giving puppy dog kisses. Somehow, I will find a way to figure it all out -- but if any of my loyal readers have advise on the fours or want to regale me with their own tales of four I would be happy to hear!

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