What I read to escape the mountains of boxes
It's his party and he'll cry if he wants to

How this turned into a sleep post I have no idea

Phillip is coming home late tonight. I should:

do the dishes

put the folded laundry away

pick up the toys that were left when I got tired of barking at kids to put toys away

take out the garbage

clear the dining room table of: broken knick knacks, Jack's laptop, contact paper, scissors, a book, a clippie, cloth napkins, a dirty bowl and dish, a stack of receipts, last week's grocery list. 

BUT I'M NOT GONNA. 

I think I'm going to lay down on the couch and watch the latest episode of The Good Wife, the only TV show I've kept watching post-cable and post-move. Oh Kalinda. How could you!

I WOULD watch it in the bedroom, while I am in my bed, perhaps with a cookie, but for some reason our fake wireless works better in the living room and I hate hate hate waiting for shows to buffer (and then crash, then you have to start all over, GAH.)

Jack stayed an extra hour at preschool today so Molly and I could buy his birthday presents (the family party is Sunday), and then I made him lay down in my bed for an hour. I INSISTED. The no nap thing is still really rough, even though it makes for a terrifically easy bedtime. But he's SUCH a whiny, antagonistic poutface in the late afternoon, especially lately for some reason, and I'm getting so upset with him. And with Phillip out of town it's just exhausting. So the last two days I've been saying, "Yes, you can watch Busytown, but not until the clock has a TWO." And there's anywhere from a half hour to an hour before there is a two. And he is NOT happy about this, but I pile him up with books and today I gave him my phone and I LEAVE. 

It sucks. He whines. I have to ignore most of it. Then he has to go potty. But he DOES understand that he doesn't get to watch his show until TWO. He respects the clock! So yesterday, when he only had a half hour to wait, he waited (impatiently) and then he got to watch his show. But today, when he had an hour, he waited (impatiently), then he got REALLY annoyed ("it's taking a LONG TIME to be TWO"), but I was Firm and Meanish and told him too bad, and about ten minutes before two I heard him snoring. 

I WIN. 

I think? It's nine and he's still not asleep, but he's not making noise or whining for me either. And holy cats was he PLEASANT this evening. Just, you know, HIMSELF. I know I know I know that 99% of his craptastic attitude has to do with being tired (or being woken up too early, sorry PRINCESS) but he WILL NOT go to sleep. He just won't. In order for days like today to happen, he has to be genuinely worn out (which he was because 1) he woke up earlyish this morning and 2) he spent an extra hour at preschool which meant extra time on the playground, thank you sunshine.) AND I have to have a fight with him. I can't just say, "You're really tired Jack, let's have a little rest, I'll leave you alone." No, there MUST be an element of arguing, because that's the THING that finally does it. I cannot remember the last time he fell asleep in the afternoon (at OUR house - my mom's house is a completely different and annoying story) without me getting in his face about it.

It's kind of like crying it out. Crying it out TOTALLY worked for Jack, even though we had to do it several times, through several transitions. It never took more than a day or two and while I hated it, I also realized that he was, as Moxie says, working it all out. 

(Molly, on the other hand, has never cried it out. Phillip wanted to several times with her, but I have this gut feeling about Molly. She has ALWAYS gone to bed easily and cheerfully, she often ASKS for her nap, and when she cries at night there is a PROBLEM. The one time we did let her cry, she just got ramped up and hysterical, just like Moxie says. Oh Moxie. She's better than any parenting book.)

But I HATE fighting with Jack. It is SO exhausting. It BOTHERS me. I do it, obviously, because you have to. But I think about what it would take for him to nap every day, and I just don't know if I could manage it. Even when he's REALLY TIRED, even when we BOTH know a nap would make the rest of the day so much easier, I don't always have the energy to force him into a quiet room for an hour until he DOES fall asleep. The whining, the negotiating, the complaining... I hate listening to it. I've tried getting REALLY mean about it, and then he cries. Which often equals a nap. But MAN I hate doing that. I HATE IT. I hate the me who is yelling and raging at what is just a very tired little boy. And then when he doesn't nap, Phillip loves how easy he goes to bed at night and then I think, well, maybe no nap is fine...

I wonder if I "made" him sleep for a week, would it turn into a routine? After more than a YEAR of no napping? And then sometimes I don't think he NEEDS a nap. He's not ALWAYS horrible in the late afternoon. It often depends on the weather, how much attention I'm giving them, whether or not we're going out, what time Daddy comes home... Sometimes it's totally fine. Sometimes he plays his computer and builds with his blocks and watches a show and helps me unload the dishwasher and pretends to build a house until Molly wakes up and everyone is happy. 

I don't know. I feel like a GOOD mom would suck it up and pick the fights and do what has to be done to make sure the kid gets what he needs. But an AVERAGE mom, such as myself, is not always SURE what he needs, and finds herself emotionally exhausted and/or angry and depressed after having to "fight" him into a nap. BAH!

What's clear is that I need a nap. After a lifetime of being Anti-Nap - for most people naps = refreshment, for me naps = feeling like I took drugs/lost my mind - it's now a requirement. I seriously cannot function past one. This is how Jack developed his deep and abiding love for Busytown Mysteries. I NEED TO REST. WITH MY EYES CLOSED. HORIZONTALLY. LEAVE ME ALONE.

Comments

HereWeGoAJen

That is exactly why I gave up Elizabeth's nap. (Yes, already. Blah.) The effort it was taking to get her to take the nap was more than the break was worth to me. Also, because I am obsessive and information oriented, I track her sleep with a little online program. When I finally caved on the nap, she started actually getting more sleep in total. She wasn't getting the hour nap during the day, but she wasn't taking time to fall asleep at night. (Sometimes TWO hours. There were a few nights where I had to stay awake myself to see if she would ever go to sleep.) Of course, there are lots of days where she is abominable right before dinner time.

Dr. Maureen

Honestly, if it were me I wouldn't force the nap. I should actually say, WHEN it was me, I DIDN'T force the nap. I was pregnant with Nora when Jack started giving up his nap. With my Jack, it ended up being a long process, because I fought with him for awhile, and then just gave up the fighting because it was killing me and he wasn't napping anyway. At the time, he was allowed a pacifier only if he was on his bed or my bed, so he went through an absolutely glorious period of putting himself to bed for a nap most days with absolutely no intervention from me. He'd decide he wanted his bink and climb into his or my bed and then go to sleep. IT WAS AWESOME. He didn't do it every day, so I couldn't *count* on a nap, but I didn't care. And then he eventually stopped taking one. I think after Nora was born, so obviously I don't remember how that happened. We made him give up the bink entirely when he was 3.

AT ANY RATE. For me, the arguing was not worth it. I think I just started letting him watch TV after lunch for a rest for both of us.

Also, my Jack always seems to be eerily in sync with your Jack when it comes to current favorite shows, because he would watch Busytown Mysteries all day long if I let him.

Lisa

Ugh. We are SO in that stage right now...where she's too tired to get through the day without being a complete grump, but not tired enough to nap AND go to bed on time. We had exactly one nap this week, and that nap was definitely needed. But it resulted in her fighting bedtime until 11pm (!) and then being COMPLETELY IMPOSSIBLE the entire next day. So I don't have any idea what to do. Guess she just has to grow through this stage...somehow...

Jessica

I can't believe you're still dealing with this at 4! My daughter is not quite 2 and she's already giving up her nap. When she does nap, she's up until 10pm (though thankfully she'll sit in her crib playing with stuffed animals from her regular bedtime until then).

Sarah in Ottawa

Hey now - you are more than an AVERAGE mom. You're an AMAZING mom to the kids you have.

I have no experience with this yet. Teddy still loves his nap, though he gets up at the crack of dawn. He, like Jack, was a tension decreaser by crying so (modified) cry-it-out worked for him. We haven't yet tried it with Veronica as she's generally easy to console/get to sleep. I guess we'll see.

BeccaV

My little guy will be 3 in August and while he has no problem taking a nap at daycare it's a totally different story at home. He will play forever in his room and usually falls asleep, but there have been a few days that he just doesn't nap and then he is a total pill later in the day. Or I will put him in his car seat after no nap to run errands and he will fall asleep in 2 minutes. He just can't wind down. Luckily he has been going to bed ok whether he naps or not. I don't know how parents with more than one do it!

Kate P

The last time my 3yo nephew spent the night at my parents', he refused to sleep, so my mom did the reverse psychology trick on him: "O.K., you don't have to go to sleep, but you do have to lie in bed. And whatever you do, you have to keep your eyes open." He did fall for it.

Christiana

I'm in a similar place w/ Fuss, but still managing to get her to leave me along for 2 hours most days. We've declared required Quiet Time where she has to be in her room with the lights off and door shut and has to be quiet enough that she doesn't wake her brother/I can't hear her. It is my respite of sanity each day. But then it takes SO much to get her to go to sleep at night. But then if I DO let her skip her nap (a rare occurrence) she is an absolute whiney mess of toddler frustration and I mostly want to strangle her from 3-7 when her daddy (usually) gets home and I can hide in the bathroom for awhile.

I hate nap transition times. Truly.

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