Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Facing down the inevitable

Today was not a surprise. No eyebrows were raised today. Today was just one baby step more on the way to the dawn of a bleak and terrible new era in our lives as parents.

OK. Parenting is no walk in the park... actually it's a whole lot of walks in the park but pedantry aside, it has its ups and downs and one of the ups is that oasis of peace and quiet that comes somewhere in the middle of every day as one puts one's blinking offspring into their bed and straps them down for the ritual of the afternoon nap.

I was informed by Those Who Have Gone Before that children begin to give up their naps around 2 years of age. I didn't need to be informed of this because one of my clearest and earliest memories is of standing outside of my bedroom door with my baby brother sleeping in behind me, looking up at my mother and arguing that I was not tired and did not need a nap and would furthermore never have a nap again. I don't recall the outcome, hopefully she administered some enforced nappage and sat in the livingroom with a friend and a gin and tonic, who knows?

Either way, with the spud being two and a half, the frog and I are living on borrowed time as far as daytime napping goes. The spud moved to one nap a day quite early on however it was a spectacularly long nap. This however has become 1 to 2 hours and for the last few months he has routinely skipped it at least twice a week. Conversely the amount of trickery, argument, cajoling, cuddling and warm milk required to get him down on the remaining days has increased substantially.

Today was pretty marathon. Despite the fact that he'd been up since 6am, by 2pm he was still insisting he didn't want a nap. 20 minutes of sitting in his bed whingeing and wailing and making rude gestures at me was followed by 20 minutes in which I cuddled him, told him I loved him and patted his back while he hit me and kicked me and screamed until, in the middle of perhaps the 200th repetition of 'NO nap', he dropped suddenly and deeply to sleep.

Normally I wouldn't bother but at the moment he's not very well and isn't eating. He's tired but reacts to exhaustion in the same way as I do: by resisting until hallucinating with the need to sleep and so stern measures were in order to get rid of those black circles under his eyes. It paid off in that while he only slept for under an hour, he awoke sunny and sweet, ate a huge meal and went happily off to sleep at bedtime.

Once he's well again however I suspect that it won't be long before those few hours of solitude disappear for the forseeable future; I however am not going down without a struggle. Oh no. He's going to need a hell of a lot of warm milk to win this one I tell you.

18 comments:

Jen said...

"Enforced nappage" cracked me up! I, too, fear the inevitable end of the glorious nap. Dylan napped for FOUR HOURS today! (He is sick, and believe me, I don't enjoy him being sick, but FOUR HOURS of "Me time" was fabulous).

jenny said...

I was going to say that maybe he was going through a stage where kids eat very little, until you said he ate a big meal afterwards. All of my kids go through that from time to time, where they hardly eat anything and it worried me so with Oldest, then I was told it was normal. Sure enough, each go through it and they still do. I don't fret about it anymore and I know their appetite will return.

Good luck with the napping-- Though it doesn't look too promising. Sorry...
xo

Michelle said...

I no longer enforce naps. Some might say I am a Bad Mother, but I don't want to fight with my two year old on this one. He drops off to sleep some afternoons in the car but will not be persuaded otherwise. Bedtime has become much easier, because he is so tired. My other two children napped until they were almost four, but This Child is much more ummm.... independent than his siblings!

cactus petunia said...

Oooh. Good luck with that. I 'm pretty sure you should brace yourself for the end of life as you know it...But it will all turn out well in the end. Trust me on this one!

A Modern Mother said...

Here's to lots of walks in the park...

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Hope to see you there.

Jennie said...

Oh god, it's terrible isn't it. You really want your own down time, and you also want a toddler who isn't on overtired crack at dinner. Unfortunately, the only remedy at our place is for me to lay down and start napping, then Dante gets bored enough to join me at some point...those who have gone before say it gets better. And then thay start school...

Have you seen this man? said...

I love an afternoon nap myself. Usually sat in front of the computer with office door wedged shut to prevent interuptions by managerial type beings. They so don't get napping. Oh Well good luck and hope you get some 'Me' time real soon.

The Dotterel said...

Charlie's having his nap now (which is why I'm blogging). He's gone from two 'shorts' to one 'long' which can start at anytime from ten-thirty in the morning and lasts, on average, a couple of (blissful) hours. It's a routine I'm becoming very attached to!

Jonny's Mommy said...

Jonathan, thank the Lord, has not yet given up his nap. Heck, I still want a nap about 1 p.m. every day. I love when he takes a nap! If he won't take one I run him around and around and around all day (or evening if it is after work) so he drops early for bed. And then I drop along with him. Keep me updated on this "dropping naps" thing so I can be forewarned that it may happen to me too soon!

Elsie Button said...

the lunchtime nap has been my saviour in the last month or so. As soon as betty is down i am zonked out on my bed too, otherwise i cannot function in the afternoons. I suspect that sods law betty will drop her nap the day the new baby arrives! Please don't let it be!

Sandrine said...

Wait a minute...Children take naps?
Max does take naps at school, but not at home :(.I still take one on the week-end anyway when my husband is watching the kids.Faire la sieste,c'est si bon!
Take care.

Sparx said...

Jen - FOUR hours! What did you feed him in the lead up? Can I buy it?

Jenny.... oh I know... and you have Gone Before so I know you know what you're talking about!

Michelle - not a bad mother, a pragmatic one, methinks!

Cactus - oh, a positive view!!! Thank you!!!

A Modern Mother - thank you, you just might!

Jennie - I'd love to do that but I'm terrified of what the spud would do if I slept while he was awake!!!

HYSTM - very funny! Lucky you have an office!!

Dotterel - yes, that happened to us too... absolutely blissful... I hate that it's ending...

Jonny's Mommy - ok, latest update... he's dropped another one!!

Elsie - oh goodness I hope not... when ARE you having that baby anyway??!!

Sandrine - start trying to get them down NOW!!! You may still make it!!

Jennie said...

Your fear is not unfounded my dear. This very morning, darling husband and I woke up an hour later than the children. Would you believe - they had washed the kitchen floor? In cinnamon...

I only yelled a little bit. (Smells nice though)

darth sardonic said...

yeah, i wish my kids would nap still. or even get a decent night's sleep once in awhile. or be stricken mute for three hours a day so that i might nap unhindered. or something along those lines.

rosiescribble said...

I remember when my daughter went through that stage.I had to hang on until she started nurery to get that 2 hours peace back again!

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DJ Kirkby said...

Chopper and I still mourn the loss of N3s's nap time...how we loved those naps...

lady macleod said...

My plan A (and how often does that work?) was to exhaust her until she was forced to sleep. Shall I tell you how many times I woke to find her sitting sweetly beside me holding open the book for me to read her chosen story?