Friday, July 20, 2007

Naptime please

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.


slouching mom said...

Oh, the struggles over naptime. You've reminded me of how painful and difficult that was every day.

Luckily we're past that point.

Only 3 weeks, though, and you'll be past that point, too!

Magpie said...

I hate the nap battle. On the days when she's at daycare, she always naps - they all do.

But days at home, like weekends? No nap, even though she needs one. Sometimes she'll just fall asleep in place, at around 5:00 - which often means that she's down for the count.


bubandpie said...

With Bub, the effects of sleep-deprivation were always immediate, and dire.

Now, it's the other way around. We still try to enforce quiet time, but if he happens to fall asleep during that time, he awakens screaming and then doesn't sleep again until 10 pm.

blooming desertpea said...

My boy's sleep had been terrible pretty much right after birth. He had this reflex of his arms that would wake him after 5 min of sleep and wouldn't let him go back to it. The result, of course, was a grumpy baby all day ... As a toddler, however, he was so glad he could go and have his nap that he would actually take me by the hand and lead me to his bed. I remember being flabberghasted by this action. It was like he could remember how awful it was not being able to sleep or having just a great need to catch up - I don't really know. I'm fully aware, though, that he must be a rare phenomenon as my daughter was exactly like yours! :)

Oh yes, I remember the striking 5pm - a horror story.