The sleep deprived ramblings of one full-time mom. I pretty much write to stay marginally sane and to make other moms feel better about themselves. You're welcome.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Naptime or How To Get Your Toddler To Sleep In 47 Easy Steps

My son was a napping champ. The kid went down easy and stayed that way until we woke him. He stopped cold turkey when he turned three, but I figured he'd slept enough in those three years to last him awhile.

My daughter is an entirely different story.

She has never been a marathon napper. When she was an infant I was lucky if she slept thirty consecutive minutes. Fits and spurts would best describe her napping style.

That changed when she became a toddler (I'm guessing she wore herself out climbing on every available surface, emptying out every cabinet and drawer in the house, and running away from me in public places) and she began sleeping longer stretches during the day.

That's still the case, but unfortunately she's now realized that while she's sleeping SHE COULD BE MISSING THE MOST FUN EVER HAD IN THE HISTORY OF FUN and fights naps like her life depends on it. We're talking epic battle of wills here.

Today, for example, went something like this:

Me: "Corinne, let's read some books and relax."
Corinne: "NO NAP!!!!" Runs screaming.
Me: "How about some milk?"
C: Stops in her tracks. "Milk? Okay." Drinks it. Throws cup and yells, "NO NAP!" Hides behind chair.
Me: "Honey, it's time to rest. Let's cuddle and we can read some books."
C: Looks at me suspiciously but sits through two books.
Me: "Okay, sleepyhead, time for nap."
C: "One more book, mama. Just ONE!"
Me: "Sorry, sis, it's time to rest." Carry her to her room kicking and screaming.
C: "Rock, mama! Tiny bit!"
Me: "Okay, we'll rock for one minute and then naptime."
C: Proceeds to close eyes, fake snore, open eyes and throw hands in the air. "I awake! Naptime allllll done."
Me: "Nice try. Lay your head down and go night-night."
C: Giggles and starts singing ABCs. "I go find Miles. I all done wif nap." Tries to crawl off my lap.
Me: Gritting teeth and counting to ten silently, "Corinne. It's time for nap. If you don't take a nap we can't go to bubba's school carnival tonight!"
C: "I DO go bubba's carnival! I go NOW!!"
Me: "First you need a NAP. Now lay your head down and RELAX!!"
C: "I go in my crib. You pat me."
Me: "Fine." Put her in crib, try to pat her as she wiggles and finally stands up. Give up.
"Goodnight, Corinne." Leave room.
C: "STOP, MAMA! Come BA-ACK!!"
Me: Wait five minutes for her to wear herself out a bit. Return to find her with one leg hiked over the crib rail, poised to climb out.
C: "Look, Mama. I stuck. You rock me?"
Me: "Fine, for one minute."
C: Cuddles up in my lap. Starts singing again and shaking her head back and forth to her own music.
Me: Close eyes. Realize the mama is falling asleep and the toddler is still wide awake. Open eyes.
C: Suddenly stops singing and nuzzles my neck, snuggling into my body like a baby monkey. Whispers, "Happy dreams, Mama."
Me: "Happy dreams, baby girl." Watch as her breathing slows and her features soften. Feel her warm, soft skin on mine. Tuck this moment away for safekeeping.

In the moments of willfulness, the outbursts of independence, the testing of limits, I begin to see the person my daughter will become. Every moment she's learning, growing, changing. And yes, pushing boundaries. But it's all because she's figuring out who she is and because she doesn't want to miss a single second of this amazing journey we call life.

And really, can you blame her?

1 comment:

gaelicspirit said...

My experience reading this blog: *ahem*

Starts to nod with understanding agreement and identification.

Grins wide at the "most fun ever in the history of fun" comment.

Bites lip to keep from laughing -- even in secret -- on the Resistence Of The Nap recount.

Softens at sweetness of monkey-girl.

Starts once more to nod in understanding agreement and identification.

*hugs you*