Now that Emily is on a fairly consistent schedule, I look forward to the 30 minute – 1 hour break in the morning and afternoon when Emily takes her nap. This gives me a chance to do things that are a heck of a lot easier without a baby attached to your hip – taking a shower, preparing dinner, studying, checking email, etc. The timing of naps is something that must be mastered – outings must be strategically scheduled around nap time and if you try to push things too much, the entire nap schedule will be ruined. I have learned many times that if Emily falls asleep in the car on the way home from our afternoon outing, there is no way an afternoon nap will occur. When Emily awakes from her short snooze in the car, she is impressively alert and refreshed. I always assume that this cat nap will not suffice, and a longer nap in the comfort of her crib is required. As I place Emily quietly in her crib, she looks up at me with a suspicious smile that says: “Sure Mom. Give it a shot. But this whole nap thing just isn’t happening today.” So, I give it a shot. I leave the room, tiptoe downstairs and turn the baby monitor on. The monitor loudly transmits sounds of babbling, laughing and eventually, crying until I slowly make my way upstairs to coral Emily from the opposite end of her crib, pick up her pacifier that has been thrown halfway across the room and tuck her tightly under the covers. After three or four times of performing this same routine, I sadly admit defeat to my baby daughter. She will look at me with a smile that says “Good on you for trying. But you can never beat me at this game.” Emily and I will venture back downstairs together where she happily sits down to play with her toys. Little does she know, another round of the napping game will happen tomorrow, and Mommy is determined to reign victorious. Wish me luck!