Monday, February 2, 2009

Monday Memories—A Title Escapes Me

Wait…wait! When I mentioned Calvin didn’t want to be one second late to the ballgame in the previous post, I meant he didn’t want to be one second over three hours early!

Time warps for me badly. I can sit down to write at the computer and think I’ve been there ten minutes and find an hour gone, and I swear sleeping for eight hours does not feel like a whole work day has passed. I once read that clocks are man made images and therefore should not be worshipped. The author said it in jest, but it appears I soaked it in and avoid time like a curse. Which reminds me . . .

I went to Brigham Young University—Hawaii for my first semester of college and had Sister Swapp as my health teacher. I loved her. She repaired her broken eye glasses with a band-aid, wore large-flowered, bright colored clothing and was pragmatic but cheerful. She assigned each of us a partner. Mine was Hoe Sei Sing from Singapore. He was about six inches shorter than me and made me laugh.

Sister Swapp taught us a relaxation technique lying on mats on the gym floor. We lay motionless as she quietly called: “Flex the muscles in your toes. Hold it. Hold it. Hold it. Hold it. Reeeellllaaaaax. Now flex the muscles in your feet. Hold it. Hold it. Hold it. Reeeellllaxxxxx. Now flex the muscles in your ankles . . .” Up and up the body she’d go. Hoe Sei Sing told me she went all the way to our brains, but I was always out cold long before then.

One afternoon we were walking to the gym to practice our relaxation technique when Hoe Sei Sing said in a choppy, Chinese lilt, “It is so embarrassing. You always go to sleep and when she tells us to do something with our partner I am the only one who doesn’t have one. And . . . you snore.” Hoe, hoe, hoe. I promised to try harder to stay awake (one time I woke up to a people-less, dark, empty gym).

I learned lots of useful things in college, but that relaxation technique was the best sleeper move on little kids who fought naps. After reading our book, we did one of two exercises:

1. If the kids held still for five minutes and kept their eyes closed “quiet time” would only last for five minutes. If they opened their eyes, the time started all over. Stop a little body’s movement for five minutes and it was out. Of course, given my time warp five minutes may or may not have been 300 seconds.

2. Sister Swapp’s relaxation technique. Lying next to them on the bed, we’d flex our muscles from toe to head. It reminded me of Shel Silverstein’s poem, I’m Being Eaten by a Boa Constrictor.

Thank you, Sister Swapp. Flexing and resting next to those sweet, sweaty little bodies is still a very, very fond memory. It was time well-spent.

Photobucket
Ty, Cali, Abe
(Sorry, Ande. You don't join us in naps for another year, but I loved taking naps with you too. Especially because you’d always find the soft material on my shirt and rub it between your fingers as you fell sleep.)

14 comments:

Lucy said...

What a beautiful picture. I just tried flexing my toes, then my feet, and then my ankles and I have to say I'm still quite alert:)

deidra said...

Did you manage to stay awake while walking your kids through the relaxation? I know my sister tends to zonk out long before the little one does, if he does at all!

Hannah said...

I can usually fall to sleep in no time, but for the nights I can't, I will try this! I love the thought of you sleeping in an empty gym...heee.

I think I need a whiff of my two sweet, sweaty little bodies upstairs right now.

Jenny said...

I am going to try this technique for sure. I constantly am fighting Weston just to "sit" for a few moments. However, he ended up taking a 4 hour nap today. Go figure.

melanie said...

I love that cute, cute photo of your little kids.

I need to teach this to Nathan. My word he doesn't stop moving his body at night because he knows it means he'll crash. And I am in no mood to parent after 8 pm! :)

Noriko Anderson said...

I really need to do that.. I swear it takes me at least 30minutes - 1 hour to fall asleep... sometimes longer if I have a lot on the brain... and maybe it will get Ethan to take naps again... I REALLY miss those few precious hours by myself...

Becka said...

I do that too! My swim coach would make us do that the day before a meet and I ALWAYS fell asleep. Luckily so did some of the other girls too.

I love the picture of Ty, Cali, and Abe! It is adorable!

Marie said...

I love the matching little clothes!

That sounds like a great relaxation method. I should remember that the next time I wake up during the night and have a hard time going back to sleep. Like last night. I was lying in bed totally alert from 2am-4am. What is that about?

Ty and Dani said...

We did similar relaxation tapes in my ballet class in high school and i was asleep the second i laid on the floor lol... you know me though... i slept a lot! very cute pic.

Kim Sue said...

I learned that technique in a work seminar one time years ago. I still use it at night when I know I need to go to sleep but am jazzed up because of something.

sheila piper said...

I thought I was the only one with beautiful children. That is a darling picture.

michelle said...

This reminds me of when Max was a toddler! I didn't have relaxation technique knowledge, though, so I called it "forcible naps". I would lie down on the bed and hold Max to keep him still. After a few minutes, he would be out cold. Man, I wish that worked with Eva! Maybe I'll have to try your way...

Ande Payne said...

Aw thats ok Mom. I like taking naps with you too. That really is the most beautiful picture.

Miller Family said...

I love nap time, especially on Thursday's if I am able to get all my little kiddos down at the same time.
What a beautiful picture of your kids.