An Inconvenient Nap

Why is it our children know just the exact moment when we do not want them to nap? For mine, it’s usually about five minutes away from someplace we need them to be bright and shiny when they nod off. This, of course, means your sweet, darling child will wake up like a little banshee, screaming in anger over being woken up. This mood will continue for quite some time.

Lately, I’ve noticed my toddler, who refuses to sleep for me unless he’s in a moving car or attached to my boob, usually only falls asleep when I really have to pee. He squirms his sweet little body up against mine, in a way that ensures he will wake at even my slightest movement. He’s kind of like a guard dog. Guarding me against having a healthy bladder. He wants me to wait… just wait… until that last moment where if I hear even a trickle of water, I might be the one needing a diaper. Then, as I try to carefully move him, he’s up. Up and screaming.

I’m writing an article for a publication right now about bedtime battles, among other things. All the  experts I’ve interviewed stress the importance of getting your child to help him or herself to fall asleep on their own. Crap. Well, I screwed the pooch on that one. Is it too late? Is there some way we can go back in time and teach my toddler to fall asleep without my nipple in his mouth?

Nap time in my house has become a kind of hold up. When my toddler wants to sleep, I do it. I drop everything, as if I were a teller in a bank. I hand over the money and no one gets hurt. Then, I sit there… waiting. Waiting. Waiting for my moment to sneak away without waking him. 8 times out of 10, it doesn’t happen. I’m just stuck.

Of course, being stuck next to an adorable baby boy is hardly the worst thing in the world. It just means my older kids get to watch PBS for an extended period of time. Oh, and my house never gets clean. That’s no so bad, right?

I’m open for suggestions here. What can I do to remedy the inconvenient nap?

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6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Domestiç Reclusë
    Jul 22, 2011 @ 20:00:20

    Oh yeah, loooove the screaming banshee part! *sarcastic* One time, one of the neighbors called the cops to our place because of all the screaming & crying. They probably thought we were slaughtering a little child for some sacrifice at the altar, when all we were trying to do was put her down for bed and “wait it out.” Of course, they figured it out when they came over and saw she was in the bedroom alone with the door wide open, and the rest of us were in the living room trying not to go to her and play her game. But guess what? That was the last time we had problems with nap time or bed time! Good luck, hope you never have to explain to law enforcement why you’re harboring a screaming banshee like I did. 😉

    Reply

  2. Domestiç Reclusë
    Jul 23, 2011 @ 02:33:35

    Initially we were appalled that someone thought we were causing bodily harm when we were just trying to get our preschooler to go to bed at a decent hour. But in a way, it cleared our name coz’ people realized that we were just strong-willed parents who refused to give in to a preschooler’s tantrums & we had nothing to hide, or else we would’ve been cursing at the cops & yelling at the neighbors to see who looked guilty. LOL

    Hubby summed it up perfectly when he said that in a way, it’s good our neighbors called the cops, because at least we know that one of our neighbors care enough to do something about a child *ours* that could be getting hurt. If any of the kids in the neighborhood were ever victimized by a hit-n-run, by a bully, or worse – by a pedophile trying to pick them up, it’ll probably be that same neighbor who’ll be the first to make the call to the cops and provide a very good description that could save those kids’ lives. There are many times where people see/hear a kid crying, along with an adult/parent making suspicious noises *whipping or other worse noises*, and the cops still aren’t called, or no one does anything to stop the abuse…. Know what I mean?

    But yeah, we didn’t really laugh about it *or tease rugrat about it* until much later, once we were certain that rugrat was sleeping on a schedule & that she wasn’t afraid/traumatized by her first cop visit. 😉

    Reply

  3. Domestiç Reclusë
    Jul 23, 2011 @ 02:47:54

    As for your toddler’s inconvenient nap, how much sleep do they get in the evenings? We’ve noticed that our rugrat would take naps and/or be cranky if she had less than 9hrs of sleep. 9hrs sounds like it should be enough, but when we talked to her pediatrician — they recommended that she get 10 hrs and that we could probably cut out nap time altogether. It took about a week or two but it worked: after adding an hour or so to her sleep time every other day, giving her gentle reminders (like telling her she had 10 more min before bed), as well as implementing a boring/calming (i.e. sleepy) routine at night to help her wind down, she managed to sleep through the night and cut out nap time altogether. Here’s some links that might help:

    http://kidshealth.org/parent/general/sleep/sleep_preschool.html
    http://kidshealth.org/parent/general/sleep/bedtime_basics.html#cat190

    Reply

  4. raisingvevi
    Jul 23, 2011 @ 11:44:53

    I totally understand where you coming from.. i have a pre-toddler who is prepping her tantrum skills and is no less at naptime.. or “turn mom into a sleeping statue” time! though my success ratio stands at 5/10 times i get the welcome 10 mins freee!!!

    Reply

  5. chelle
    Aug 18, 2011 @ 21:34:58

    my daughter is 2yrs:) great age. she started going to bed on her own around 16 months. there was alot of crying. id give her ten minutes then go in reassure her i didn’t go any where. slowley the screaming and crying stopped. now i tell her to grab her ‘woobey’ (a blanket my sister made her and she has had since the day following her birth) and go lay down. she does every night at 8pm. out like a light by 8:30pm. I too have gotten asked about the crying by neighbors, no cops though.

    Reply

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