Mumbo Jumbo

The toddler with yogurt in his hair.

Nope, that’s not styling gel in the toddler’s hair: that’s yogurt. Lots and lots and lots of yogurt. What’s that you ask? Why, yes; he did smell DELICIOUS after waking up from the 3 1/2 HOUR LONG NAP he took right after I snapped this picture!

I am not a very superstitious person by nature.

There are no horseshoes above my door. I do not throw spilled salt over my shoulder (I’ve already made one mess to clean up in this scenario, why on Earth would I create a second mess to clean up??). I walk under ladders if they’re in my way. I do not pull on a “lucky” pair of socks that haven’t been washed since the Carter Administration in attempts to ensure my beloved Tar Heels an NCAA Championship win (I only wish I had that kind of power, because I’d wear those darned socks until they disintegrated off my feet…). I do not forward chain letters that declare I will waste away in the pits of Tartarus for all eternity (or perhaps just get a foot wart) if I don’t email it to a dozen of my closest friends within the next 24 hours (note to my dear friends: as much as I like new ideas for what to cook for dinner, I also don’t forward on recipe chain emails – that has nothing to do with superstitions, though; it’s just pure laziness on my part – my apologies). And I don’t use a complicated algorithm of family birthdates and number of pets I’ve had in my lifetime when I buy lottery tickets (well, I don’t buy lottery tickets – this does not, however, keep me from being deeply disappointed when I don’t win the Mega Millions jackpot).

No, I usually don’t put much stock in such mumbo jumbo. But, for this last week and a half, I’ve become, if not a true believer, increasingly superstitious…

You see, I’ve been paying attention (I know! Apparently all that coffee I’m drinking is working!), specifically to my 23mo’s nap schedule, and I’ve realized that if he eats a container of YOGURT before I put him down for his nap he sleeps for 3 – 3 ½ HOURS. If he doesn’t eat YOGURT, then he sleeps for, at most, 2 hours. I realize that 2 hours is a great nap, but do you have any idea what I can do with that extra 1 – 1 ½ hours?? I have learned to become extremely efficient in completing chores, work tasks, and various other projects that need to be completed during nap times in the last nine-plus years since the arrival of my first born (well, let’s be honest, last eight-plus years; it took me a good year to even get dressed before 3pm, let alone get any work done, after I had my first child…), but that extra bit of time is, in my world, as fantastically exciting as if I really did win the Mega Millions jackpot (well, now I’m exaggerating, but long naps really are much appreciated and pretty thrilling in my world – and yes, I realize I should get out more often).

The problem is, the yogurt-eating sessions are REALLY REALLY MESSY. While spooning in huge mouthfuls of creamy, strawberry or blueberry or peach deliciousness, the toddler (still working on those fine-motor skills) inevitably drips and drops a bit of (read: lots of) yogurt on the table. This, in turn, becomes a wonderful opportunity for finger-painting on the table. And for styling his hair. And for throwing at the cat. And then, of course, the sticky hands need to be wiped on his pants. And on his shirt. And on his face. And in his hair (again). All of which necessitates the use of too many rags, towels and wet wipes to count to clean up the child, the table, the floor, the cat, and, more often than not, leads to an entire change of clothes (and an ever increasing load of laundry). But, I have come to realize, I am more than happy to sacrifice an endless supply of wet wipes and organic yogurt at the altar of the sleep gods if it results in (much appreciated) 3 hour long naps…

I know it’s ridiculous. I realize that yogurt itself has no correlation to length of naptime AT ALL. And once, at the beginning of the week, I even tried to root this (much appreciated) phenomenon in more scientific soil by switching up (wait for it…) “the variables” (See! I did pay attention in that science class I was forced to take back in college, even if it was Physics for Poets; hey, don’t judge – there is tremendous value in knowing how those “Magic Eye” 3-D stereogram posters work – how else was I to learn how to see the shark eating the dinosaur in those optical illusion posters at the mall kiosk??), experimenting with how much yogurt was required for the longer (much appreciated) nap. So, donning my lab coat and goggles (not really; I just watched from the safety of the kitchen) I gave Broder a toddler-size container of yogurt rather than the larger (and messier) normal-size yogurt. Result: 1hr 55min nap. Say what?? Well, the larger container of yogurt it is!! And that whole “science project” thing can just go searching for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow! At this point, I don’t really care to explore “the theory” that a full belly – full from any substantial snack at all, not just yogurt – before a nap will keep the toddler from waking up hungry, and the child will therefore sleep longer. Don’t talk to me about RATIONALITY or REASON! Do you understand that the child IS SLEEPING?! I don’t want to try any more “science experiments,” thank you very little, in fear that I’ll yet again return to the shorter nap schedule.

So, I’m going with my newly superstitious heart here. He’s getting yogurt, and he’s getting the large container of yogurt, from now until eternity (or at least until he’s old enough to give up naps – age eight will do). If he needs to paint the table, or himself, with yogurt, so be it; that’s why I have sponges and rags. If he needs to throw the (never quite-empty) yogurt container at the cat, so be it; the cat just gets sick when he licks up the spilled yogurt anyway, so I’d rather he sprint away from the mess, if you don’t mind. And if he needs to style his hair with yogurt, so be it… That’s why I have a camera.

Yep, the kid is getting yogurt. A big yogurt. And I’m going to thank any and all of my lucky stars for the (much appreciated) long naps. And cross my fingers and toes that the (much appreciated) long naps continue for many moons to come. And I’m going to be really careful not to break any mirrors…

But I’m still not going to forward on any chain letters. Well, unless they promise, not wealth or my dream job, but that my children won’t talk back or sass me until they reach adulthood (at which point I can toss them to the curb). For that, I just might email my closest TWO dozen friends. And it’d take me significantly less than 24 hours to forward on that baby. Now that’s the kind of mumbo jumbo I want to believe in…

Maybe I need to wish on a shooting star for that one? Quick, someone get me a rabbit’s foot to rub! Or maybe I’ll find a four-leaf clover today…

Ooh… and I better remind my kids not to step on any cracks…

10 thoughts on “Mumbo Jumbo

  1. Adorable! What I wouldn’t do for a 3 hour nap! My little Moose (age 2) gave up naps and 18 months and has been driving me batty since then. I may have to test your yogurt theory…

    • I had to drive my first child around in the car to get her to nap… I feel your pain. 🙂 This guy is my sleeper – though I’m sure next week he’ll switch things up on me entirely, and I’ll never have these blissfully long naps again!!

  2. We have a lot of yogurt finger painting in our house too! Now I will HAVE to try it before nap instead of as a late afternoon snack. I could REALLY use an extra hour mid-day!

    • Why do I feel McKenzie manages to produce masterpieces with her yogurt painting?? Broder just puts it in his hair, LOL! Hope she takes a good nap for you today, after the exciting weekend. Hugs and kisses to you all!

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