Quiet Time

“Do you want to watch another Daniel or do you want to do something with Mommy?” I ask, part of me hoping that she will choose time with me, but a bigger part hoping she chooses the TV.

One episode of Daniel Tiger has just finished, the closing song still playing. I look into her round face, those bright blue eyes, to get her attention.

“You can watch Daniel with me,” she says, with a sweet voice and a big grin, “I have a spot for you right here!” and she moves over a little, making a spot next to her on the couch.

Well, I can’t really argue with that. I press play and another episode begins. I run upstairs to grab the book I was reading, a pen, my journal, coffee, the baby monitor.

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Her brothers are both sleeping. The little one because he always naps at this time and the twin one because he fell asleep surrounded by toys in a pile of blankets on the floor during their hour of quiet time (#nottired).

I don’t know what that means for bedtime tonight. Three separate bedtimes? Who knows.

This nap transition has been exhausting me lately. Two three-year olds all day long is too many three-year olds for too many hours. Too many emotions, too much time together. And with three possible combinations: both take a nap, neither take a nap, or one takes a nap and the other does not, the routine every day seems like a surprise. In a way it’s like a return to that newborn phase, where you don’t know when they’ll nap or for how long, each day’s schedule a mere shadow of the day before.

But right now it is quiet. Daniel and his family are camping on the TV. I hear the birds through our own open window. There is a breeze; it will be a perfect afternoon to play outside. Brooklyn curls up beside me, all three-year old girl with her curls and that dress and those lashes curled up with her hand on my leg. I read and rest and have my own version of quiet time before the chaos begins again.