Friday, April 27, 2012

Consider the towel tossed...

Yep, I tossed in the towel on the whole nap thing. It's painful to say that, but it was more painful to fight with my crazy little monster every day. I really thought this whole nap deal was going to be a gift for awhile. Something I could hold dear and count on. I clearly wasn't thinking right - CLEARLY. We are talking about a toddler here, so all the rules are out the window. As my good friend told me all too wisely this week, "Kids are an enigma." Yes, indeed, they most certainly are.

Oddly enough, now that I've accepted the idea that I have toddler that no longer naps, regularly, that is, it's really not all that bad. As much as that free time was just that, "freeing," it was also another way that I let my little one hold me captive with my incessant planning and A-personality. He's such an active kid that sleep used to be an absolute necessity. If he didn't get a nap, then no one wanted to be near him and he would sleep terribly at night. Guess my little baby isn't a baby anymore...

The whole little boy world is changing right in front of me. Now it's almost exactly the opposite with little r. When he naps, night time is a mess. He doesn't go to sleep for hours and then wakes up at the crack of dawn. Being that the sun rises around 5 a.m. here, beating the sun up is quite a feat - something he was becoming all too good at. And let's not even get into how painful nap time could be for both of us. He would be crying (the world was ending, most definitely, you realize) to the point that even I would be crying, (yes, my child manipulates me, I am fully aware of his power over me), and we would spend easily 30-45 minutes forcing what inevitably would be no nap at all. That or, he would finally go to sleep and I'd be arguing with myself about waking him an hour later.

So, now the world is starting to look shinier. We are no longer bound by my watch all afternoon. It seemed I was struggling to get him home faster from Kindergarten so we could get down for a nap at a certain hour, just to have him be awakened a couple hours later when he's sleeping soundly. Then we struggled with drowsy crankiness until dinner and the bedtime routine. Although he would always go to bed without a fight, he wouldn't stay there, so it was often nearly two hours later that the little guy would drift off to dreamy land.

I thought that the whole thing was completely crazy until I started talking with more friends about their experiences. I really did think that most kids napped until they were much older. Turns out, that's not really the norm. What became more clear is that each kid is different (as if I needed yet another reminder, right?). I decided to listen to my instinct this time, unlike how often I fought it when little r was a baby because all the books told me to do things a certain way, and do what made the most sense for my little boy.

The timing is perfect because summer is here :) Now instead of being bound up in the house, we can go to the pool or he can play with his friends (or I can play with mine!), and we'll just be sure to hit the sack earlier. In the grand scheme of things, I'll actually have more time to myself (as long as I keep getting up really early), and little r will get more consistent sleep and a lot more fun with mommy and his friends. Maybe this will be a win-win situation afterall!!! (can you read between the lines and see that I'm calmly trying to convince myself that this is absolutely a good thing?!)

What did you experience with your toddler? A part of me likes that little r keeps me guessing, even if it's unpredictably maddening at times. But that's what keeps life interesting, right?



  1. As a mother of a 20month old and a 9month old I feel your pain! Naps are not very frequent anymore in this house. My littlest one thinks because the big sister doesn't need to nap neither does she. There are many days (and nights) where my patience is tested, but mommy prevails every time.

    Sending you nap-time glitter :)

    1. Nap-time glitter - I love it!!! I can only imagine the challenges you are facing with two little ones. At 20-months, little r NEVER would have managed without a nap (although there were definitely some battles as I recall). I hope this is only a phase for you and that your oldest brings those naps back.