Why on earth do children not realize what an utter luxury a nap is?
The words "Naptime" invoke some seriously sad faces around here. It must be some kind of cruel and unusual punishment according to kid-law, because the prospect of taking a nap turns my kids against me.
Here I must offer a disclaimer: I do not enforce naptime for my older children-my boys-but they are required to have a quiet hour of reading around midday--which, of course, they despise as much as naptime.
If someone were to come tell me that I get to go rest for a whole, entire, complete hour, I would stand there dumbfounded. It would, however, not take me long to grab my pillow and find a quiet little place to curl up and sleep. I would not have to be cajoled, begged or forced to go lie down. I would not have to be bribed. Sweet slumber would be upon me in no time. I am yawning already.
Such is not the case for my daughter. She whines, she begs, she attempts to offer good behavior in trade for no nap, as if she can have bad behavior if she does in fact sleep. NO, she wants to stay awake, has to go to the bathroom, needs a drink, squirms, flops, until...finally, sleep wins the battle again. I start out being nice, quiet, calming. I end up threatening loss of priveleges if she does not hush and go to sleep. For I know the after-effects of no nap on my little girl. By 5'oclock she is simply someone else's child. She whines, she cries, she shrieks. She can't be pleased, she cannot be placated. She hates her toys. She hates her sister. She hates me.
She was even like this as an infant--I called it the "witching hour" because if she hadn't had enough sleep during the day, I literally could not satisfy her with anything and she would just cry for an hour. Having been used to little boys up to that point, who can be satisfied with some dirt and a truck no matter what is wrong, my little girl has taken me on many emotional roller-coaster rides since her birth.
Alas, Naptime is in effect for one more year, then Kindergarten arrives. But, thankfully, a respite is in sight. Yes, I'm weak, I know. In three weeks, Journey goes back to pre-school and naptime is once again Ms. J's responsibility. Whew!
God Bless Ms. J.