Dear Daytime Nap,
I'm writing to ask a favour.
As you may recall, we first became acquainted back when my first daughter was born. For a while, you visited us several times each day, restoring energy to a little person who could only manage to resist your temptations for short (yet loud) bursts at a time.
As she grew older, you came less and less and my daughter rejoiced at this. As you know, she never did like having you around; she wouldn't have considered you amongst her friends. I do apologise for her hostility towards you: you came calling in your friendly, gentle manner, yet she made life difficult for you.
You gave my darling girl a chance to recharge, ready for a long afternoon of playing and running around.
While you were here for a couple of hours each day, I could sort things and clean up without having everything rearranged by a toddler. I ate lunch without small hands swiftly swooping over my plate, transferring my food into a small mouth turned upwards in a cheeky grin. I made phone calls uninterrupted, responded to messages and used my computer without fear of grimy food-covered fingers covering the screen and pushing buttons.
Second time's a charm
It all happened in a similar way with my second daughter, although it has to be said that she welcomed your visits with open arms. She never loved your friend, Nighttime Sleep (and I'd appreciate you putting in a good word for her to encourage this most wonderful of friends to come for longer hours at a time) but, Daytime Nap, you were always her favourite.
Your visits to daughter number two gave me the chance to spend some time with my eldest, to give her that one-on-one attention she craved amidst her newfound life as an older sister. Life with a newborn in the house again was weird for all of us, and you eased that by giving us a little bit of time without feeding or playing or settling.
We've had many years together, and it's been quite the love/hate relationship hasn't it, Daytime Nap?
It's time to ask you to leave
And that's why I want to ask you a favour now. As you know, my youngest daughter is now four and still gives in to your calling every so often. It usually happens in the car; often, it's just before we arrive at our destination, giving her about five minutes of rest before bursting out of the car door with more energy than ever.
That might sound great, but the problem is that those five minute rests recharge her so much that we pay for it later. Until about 10pm, that is. And, frankly, I don't want to see my kids' eyes open at that late hour.
I'm asking you – practically begging you, in fact – to please leave us now, Daytime Nap.
It's time you moved on and helped other families and, well, left us alone.
Please? (Yes, you're welcome to visit me on a Sunday afternoon every now and then.)