Despite popular belief, toddlers can be quite perceptive. Mine is quick to question subtle things I don’t expect him to notice, liking pointing out small changes in the room and spotting airplanes flying off in the distance. Sometimes, he even manages to tell me something about myself that I’ve either overlooked, or have attempted to ignore. While it’s possible that I could be reading into it, I think there are ways that your toddler can tell you that you deserve a break. Their vocabularies aren’t quite ready to put it in those exact words or clear-cut terms, of course, but the message is pretty obvious. Or, at least, it's kinda obvious if you squint really hard and read a whole lot into everything they do.
Of course, it’s possible that anytime my toddler’s willing to do something that requires, or even allows, me to simultaneously be horizontal on the couch, he’s not exactly doing it for my benefit. In toddler land, the world revolves around them and them alone. Then again, it’s also possible that he absolutely asks me to play another episode of Sesame Street so I can sit down, relax, and take a load off.
Then again, maybe I'm just projecting how much I really do need a break, and finding "hints" in my toddler's behavior because I so desperately need them. Whatever, don't judge. Motherhood is hard. Plus, my kid isn't responsive yet to the desperate whispers of, “Mama needs to sleep” that I utter at some ungodly hour of the morning when he’s awake for some absurd reason. Still, in other ways he shows me that, sometimes, he's aware of mom's needs, too.