Friday, March 16, 2007

The Nap Wars

Have I mentioned before how inconsistent Harper's naps have become? Despite our attempts at consistency and rountine, putting her to bed at all has been a fairly significant challenge since Harper turned two. I place the blame for this squarely on the shoulders of our decision that Harper should give up her pacis. On days when I'm really frustrated with the lack of nap I often find myself wishing for a paci. Paci in the mouth, and Harper would collaspe onto her matress, often without another peep. Although those days also involved getting out of bed in the middle of the night and fishing pacis out from under the crib, so that wasn't all roses either.

Here is my problem, Harper is not even two and a half, she cannot possible be ready to go all day everyday with no nap, can she? The baffling part is that, when she does allow herself to fall asleep, she naps for two to three hours in the afternoon and still sleeps fine at night. If she was only taking afternoon naps of thirty to forty-five mintues I could see how this might lead to a phasing out of the nap, but hours? Not so much. Not to mention that her post-lunch behavior practically begs for a nap: cranky, yawning, rubbing of eyes. . . Harper is a fairly strong-willed child and I firmly believe the days she doesn't take a nap have everything to do with the fact that she just won't let herself fall asleep.

Let's take Tuesday for example. We went to ABC class and then played for another hour at a rec center open gym. Harper spent a good chunk of time pulling two other toddlers around in a wagon. She could barely keep her eyes open on the way home. So we ate a quick little lunch, read stories, and into bed she went. Forty-five minutes later I heard disturbing sounds coming from her room and went in to investigate. I found her pillow, stuffed animal, and blankets on the floor, which was not a surprise. Most of those items go overboard when Harper decides not to sleep. I was, however, surprised by the folded up pants and diaper sitting on her book case. And even more surprised when Harper said, proudly, "I peed!" And peed she had, all over her mattress. I don't even know what to say about that.


Erin said...

Wow. That doesn't sound like fun. I almost stopped reading when you said the dreaded words, "giving up paci." I cannot face the day we give up paci. I cannot yet acknowledge that this day will come.

More likely, I'll be that parent who packs a paci for her six-year-old for overnight stays at Grandma's. No kidding. I'm in complete denial.

Swistle said...

The story of her putting her diaper and pants neatly on the book case and then peeing all over her mattress is VERY FUNNY. Er, to someone who doesn't have to clean up the mattress.

My first two were the same way at about 2-1/2: they started phasing the nap out, in an inconsistent and hard-to-plan-for way: sometimes a long nap, sometimes a short nap, sometimes no nap and fine, sometimes no nap and Mr. Crankypants. By the time they totally gave up the naps (not too long after), it was almost a relief, because it was so unpleasant to expect a nap and not get one, or to wonder if there was going to be a nap or not.

Kelsey said...

Swistle -- Yea, Harper's dad thought that was pretty funny too. Since it happened while he was at work.

Mommy Daisy said...

Yikes! Mommy's need naps for sanity purposes! Maybe she is phasing out of them, but how do you really ever know. It sounds like she has tired times. Maybe you can at least help her find a quiet time to rest. Now the bed mess, uh oh. It will be much funnier in a few years. Did you take a picture? I totally would have!

Emily said...

Yikes! Life without paci would be like life without Katy's right thumb... everytime someone in public says, "That's a hard habit to break." I think "yeah, but she goes right to sleep." What's a girl to do?
Good luck with the nap seems that the first 3 years are a constant battle over sleep, ugh.

Giselle said...

It sounds like it's time to implement "quiet time" I let A pick out one toy to bring into the bedroom with him. Then I tell him he has to stay in and have a rest. He falls asleep 25% of the time. The rest of the time he plays away. But I still get the much needed nap break. Well, at least on the days he doesn't knock on the door 120 times an hour to tell me important things like "Mom, I have two eyes!"

However, my 3 1/2 year old STILL cannot undress himself, so I don't have to worry about the peeing thing...gross!!!

Megan said...

in response to your comment on my wall, you're not old!! true harper may not yet be a good drinking buddy. key word yet, i'm very irish so i feel the need to do some celebrating for it or at least wear green :)

sorry to hear about the nap wars, we have that problem at the center. more so with the kids under one than the preschoolers. we have about 5 four year olds that nap or "rest" for 2 hours in the afternoon. they usually fall asleep 80% of the time whereas with the 1 yr olds i'm lucky if they get one nap in. they are just so busy, no time for sleep!! doesn't solve your problem i know, but at least stick with some "rest time" for both of you!

have a great week.

mommietofour said...

Yes the "paci" thing I know all to well...I had a trick that I have kept up with all my children in there bedroom I block out the window for the babies so that when you close the door at nap time the room is completely dark works like a charm...My twin boys are almost four and take a nap everyday from noon till 2(hate me dont yaLOL) I use the auto tint its beautiful and it doesnt let in any uv rays either so maybe give it a try?? Have a good day!!!!!

Bridget said...

Oh, my god. I laughed out loud at the last few sentences. I could just see her face beaming with pride that she had PEED! Aren't you proud, Mommy?!? Oh, and the nap time challenges? Here, here! I find it helps if I start naming everyone Jack knows and telling him that they take a nap. Maybe it's the repetition of the word nap and the naming of everyone and everything in the world that eventually convinces Jack that it's okay for him to fall asleep, but the process can STILL take up to an hour. I read somewhere that, in order for a child's development to continue at the appropriate rate of growth, they are supposed to get a certain amount of sleep per day. I can't remember what that amount was now, but I remember thinking - woa! Jack was not coming close to what he needed. Still... he's not running into the wall either, so I guess he'll be okay. :)