…nap no more…

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

We are at a crossroads with Laura. No big surprise there. With three children the odds are pretty good that at least one of them is in a transitional phase of some sort. Laura happens to be at the intersection of Nap and None. It is time. She is 4 and is quickly approaching the point of no longer needing a nap. A sad fact for Mom indeed…

Abigail gave up her nap on her own at age 3. I was not happy with that but we made do with mandatory “rest time”. Some days that led to a nap but more often it was just a little quiet time for everyone. Hattie stopped taking a nap out of necessity when she started kindergarten. If she could get away with a nap at school she would totally do it. She is the first one asleep at night and the one most likely to fall asleep on the sofa in the afternoon. She gets that from me. Unfortunately she is also the first one awake. At the crack… of… dawn. She does NOT get that from me. But I digress…

Now we find ourselves at the nap crossroads with Laura. She still needs the rest but is starting to resist. If I am able to get her to take that precious siesta she is fun to be with the remainder of the afternoon but fights going to bed for a  l o n g  time. If she does not take a nap, she is a beast. She is tired, whiny, clingy, cranky, whiny, grumpy, short tempered, whiny, annoying and even more impatient than usual. It is agonizing. But bed time is a breeze. No talking. No requests for water. No procrastinating. No questions. No nothing. Just sweet sleep as soon as her little head hits the pillow. It is a lose – lose situation for the whole family. You can pay now or pay later but whatever your choice, you will pay.

We know that Laura will eventually pick a path and move forward yet again. She will adjust to staying awake all day and learn to avoid the trail of the ogre that appears every afternoon at 4:00. Let’s just hope there is a long stretch of road before the next intersection…Mom and Dad need a nap!

no rest for the weary

Saturday, August 29th, 2009

Laura didn’t have her regular nap yesterday.  The afternoon was not pleasant.

The mistake I made was trying to run an errand with her just before lunch.  I know better.  But I needed to go to the post office.  I was hoping to go by myself.  Of course Laura spotted me grabbing my purse and promptly asked “where we goin’, Mommy?”  Usually I would explain that she’s staying home with Daddy and he would distract her while I sneak out but Robert has a bad sinus infection so I didn’t want to put him through that.  Off we went to the post office.  Once our package was in the mail we headed home.  Less than 2 blocks later, Laura was asleep.

We got home and I tried to move her from the van to the car but since I spent an extra 5 minutes talking to my friend on the phone, Laura’s brain was convinced that she’d already had her nap and more sleeping would just be a waste of valuable playtime.  That was totally my fault.  How dare I try to have an adult conversation?  Who cares if we have no cell signal in our apartment?  The nerve!

Needless to say, the move from the van to her bed didn’t go as planned.  After 30 minutes of unsuccessful soothing and rocking, I gave up.  I knew exactly how the rest of the day would go…but I gave up anyway.

Nothing was right for Laura after that.  Her sisters touched everything she didn’t want them to touch.  The dog tried to take a nap on her blankie.  She didn’t want to come inside when it was time to come inside.  She didn’t want to leave her handfuls of dirt and sticks outside.  The dog looked at her funny.  She didn’t want a banana for snack much less juice.  The dog ignored her.  There was no happiness for Laura.

At 4:45, she fell asleep…on the sofa…in the living room…I decided to leave her in hopes that she would wake in a different mood.

can't last another second

At 6:00 we were serving dinner and Laura began to rouse.  I was thinking – great, she’s had a little rest so now we can enjoy dinner and the rest of the evening.  Boy was I wrong.  The word grumpy doesn’t begin to do her mood justice.  Dinner was not what she wanted.  She wasn’t ready to put on her pajamas.  We weren’t watching what she wanted to watch on TV.  She wanted something to drink but didn’t want anything we offered.  This went on and on and on and on……

Eventually it was time for bed and to my surprise, she went willingly.  She was asleep within seconds.  As I stood in the doorway listening to her breathe, I was overcome with love for this little girl.  Despite the difficult hours just prior to this moment, I was reminded that she is a sweet, caring, imaginative and smart child.  We’ve all had bad days more than we’d like to admit.  That’s all this was.  A bad day for Laura.  Besides, she’s absolutely adorable when she sleeps!!  😉

love my bearpooped princesscan't eat another bite!whose bed?didn't quite make it to bednot my chair!

Yes, I realize that none of these pictures are from her bed.  Once she’s asleep in her own bed I wouldn’t dare wake her with the flash! 🙂

who’s in charge here?

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

That’s an excellent question.  I’m beginning to think that it’s not me.

I came to this realization a few moments ago when I was rocking the 2 (almost 3) year old to sleep for her nap.  That’s right – I said it – rocking her…to sleep….for her nap.  What exactly is going on here?

When Abigail and Hattie were little I made sure they fell asleep on their own and I turned up the music and ran the vacuum when they were napping so that they would learn to sleep through anything.  Guess what?  They can sleep through anything.  Thunder, lightning, nuclear holocaust…anything.  With Laura, we have quiet time during her nap.  There is a rational explanation….if she doesn’t have a nap, the latter part of the day is almost unbearable.  One half of my brain wholeheartedly agrees with that logic.  The other side is laughing at me.

When Abigail was a baby, I rocked her to sleep every night until she was 15 months old.  She was my first child and I cherished those moments with her.  When she got too big to put her in her bed easily after she fell asleep, we suffered for a few nights while she learned to self-sooth and fall asleep alone.  I had learned my lesson.  When Hattie came along we put her in her bed with her blankie and left the room.  She’s never had a problem.  You would think that I would be a master at this for the third child, right?  I don’t know what happened!!!  Maybe it’s because she’s my baby…my last baby.  Maybe it’s guilt.  Laura has a congenital heart defect that she got from me.  It requires a pacemaker that was installed when she was 13 months old.  Even though I know it’s not my fault there is still some subliminal mom guilt in there somewhere. There’s always been a reason for her (my?) need to be soothed to sleep.  Skinned knees, moving, stomach bugs, surgery, ear infections, bumping her head on the coffee table…the list goes on and on.  Now, I put Laura in her big girl bed, fix her blankie and leave the room.  She waits about 15 seconds then moves out into the hallway with all of her paraphernalia.  She proceeds to lie down, talk, read books, ask us to fix her blankie, etc…until finally falling asleep.  Before going to bed, I pick her up and put her in her bed where she stays for a while before climbing into bed with us.  I’ll ask again…what exactly is going on here?

On other issues, we are better parents.  She goes to time out for hitting or yelling and even goes to her room on her own if she knows she’s been bad.  But still she gets a lot more slack than the other 2 girls.  It seems a lot worse when I put this all in writing….

I guess it’s time for a shift in the balance of power.  I’ll start when we’re out of potty purgatory…or tomorrow…..