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Friday, June 7, 2013

Nap Time

"Does he nap?" people used to ask me, when I told them that I spend twelve hours a day with Bow. When I answered "yes" they would then ask: "Well, then you must get a lot done when he is asleep?" And I would sigh and answer: "Not really. He wakes up if I am not there and gets into all sorts of mischief. He needs me to be right there. And I need to rest, too. We end up napping together."

Well, that was then. Bow was much smaller. He was more dependent. These days, while Bow and I still nap in the afternoon, we don't always nap at the same time, and Bow is so secure in knowing I am there for him, that he does not need to be in tactile contact with me to go to sleep.

Take yesterday, for instance. Bow was in and out of the inner pens, because it was a fairly nice day, though not too warm. Bow went out and watched the dogs at play, displayed at them and interacted with Leo, the youngest.

But then afterwards, in the afternoon, after spending some time out of doors, he asked to go inside, requested and got his tattered rug, and promptly curled up and went to sleep. He looked so cute lying there like that, with a content half-open mouthed smile, that I wanted to snap his picture.

But to do that I needed to unlatch the door that separated us. I was afraid the sound would wake him up, but it didn't.

His sleep was so sound, that I got my pictures, then went to the other side of the pen and got some work done on the computer.

This does not mean that I didn't get a nap yesterday afternoon, too. But I got mine when Bow was playing with the  dogs!  You see, it does get easier raising a chimp, after a while. You just have to hang in there and wait for the change to come from his side.


  1. When I was around the age of four and five I hated napping, and back then they used to require it in kindergarten. I was not the type of kid who needed a rest, and it felt like the teacher just did that because she wanted a break. I know because once I would watch her, and she would be making tea when all the kids were taking a nap. People are entitled to take naps if they need these, but it can be aggravating when adults assume all kids need naps. As an adult I might lay down in the afternoon, but that might not happen every day. I do not even sleep a traditional sleep cycle. I often do what used to be referred in the Middle Ages to the second sleep where I go to bed early, and then wake up for a couple of hours in the middle of the night, and then go back to bed and get up the next morning. Other nights I stay up later and sleep the whole night through. If I go to be too early I usually end up waking up later in the night.

    1. I did not like to nap when I was little, either. And I do not think children should be forced to nap, if they don't need it. But there is no question, in Bow's case, of forcing it. It absolutely has to be when he wants it, or not at all. I do think it is remarkable that Bow decided on his own he no longer wanted to play outside, asked for his rug, and then promptly went to sleep. He is very aware of his own needs.