I knew he wouldn't nap forever, but after over four and a half years I couldn't imagine how he'd ever get through the day without a sleep. My days for as long as I can remember have been split into a morning and an afternoon with a nap in the middle. Kian (eventually) slotted nicely into how Luca had carved our days. Whatever we do in the morning, he'd start showing those signs around lunchtime and he'd say he's tired and take himself off to bed. On preschool days when he doesn't nap, he comes home and does very little. He's snoring by 6.30pm.
My life as a mother would have looked very different had I not had those two hours to myself every day. To be able to split the day in two and know there is a break in the middle has saved me on countless days. It's when I eat in peace, read in peace, and write here in my little space. In peace.
It's when I also nap myself, stealing twenty minutes or so to rest on the sofa with my feet up and stare at the sky and trees all around the house. Oh, I love it when quiet reins after lunch.
But quiet reins no longer. He doesn't desperately head for his bedroom as soon as his tummy's full. I still insist on quiet time (for both our sakes), so he reads on his bed until he can't keep away from his craft table any more.
He draws and writes, paints and cuts. And with Kian asleep and not at his elbow knocking over his tools and screwing up his paper, he realises that this is his golden hour.
It will be our golden hour too (eventually), because once I've reorganised my time and kicked my four-year habit I will spend one-on-one time with him and enjoy it.
But right now, I'm trying to kick the habit. Of being on my own, falling asleep without being prodded, and relishing two hours without questions and demands.
It's the end of an era.
Except I'm not really lamenting the end of my quiet time – I've had it good, I know. What makes me a touch sad is it's the end of Luca being little. He's growing up.
I know every parent sees more in their children's art than anybody else, but will you look at that kookaburra? We had to frame it. Every morning while everyone still sleeps, Luca creeps out and draws from books. Plants, wildlife, anything. Lately, he's started painting with watercolours. I wonder how much all this will shape the school decision...