The clock now reads 12:54 PM, and it's that familiar time of the afternoon that she now recognizes as a daily D-Day. It's not that she can tell time. It's just that Mommy has not yet come up with a face to masquerade her joy that for the next two hours, she will have some well-deserved time to herself. The Toddler knows this face well, and retreats in absolute terror from the Monster Mommy who threatens to take her away from her imaginary worlds of creative playtime and whisk her off to the dungeon of doom that is her room. As naptime approaches, I witness a change in The Toddler not unlike that of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
She starts her subversive counter-attack by darting away from me in full giggle. As I try to wrestle the bucking bronco into her bed, however, the laughter turns into a blood-curdling scream whose pitch can be heard by dogs in China. She then deploys chemical warfare by hurling her Juicy Juice at me while yelling "NOOOOO!!!!!!" The last unsuccessful measure she attempts is a sneak attack whereupon she throws her blankie over my head to make me disappear.
Five minutes later, as Mom dries the sweat from her brow, The Toddler surrenders with fitful, sweet sleep. Her angelic face is blissfully unaware of the battle that transpired ten minutes earlier. Frustrating as Naptime Wars are, I can't help but dab away remnants of joy ... the unbridled tears of happiness that defines motherhood ... as well as that giddy feeling of knowing that the next few hours will be spent writing my next love letter to my daughter in the form of an article about her zany antics. That, or folding the wash.
Sleep well, my love. At 2:43 PM revelry sounds, and you're all mine again.