A week before Sorrel turned two last year, on the upside, he magically potty trained himself…and on the downside, he gave up napping. I struggled for a long time with that downside bit.
For the first month, I would take him for nap rides in the car…desperately holding on to that sacred space that I could count on that happened every day about half way through. The time where I could quickly take care of simple tasks such as dishes, laundry, making lunch for the rest of the kids, amongst other everyday life kinda things.
After that first month, that quick nap ride starting failing me. Fifteen to twenty minutes in the car and Sorrel would still be awake, so home we went. No nap. So, I started setting an alarm (a first for me) and waking him up at the crack of dawn. Worked like a charm. Nap rides were back in business. However, by the third month post two year birthday, Sorrel stopped going to bed at night. He just wasn’t tired at bedtime anymore. There were some nights where the two of us would still be up at 2am. We were getting up way too early and not able to get to bed at a somewhat reasonable hour. I felt defeated…exhausted…and was losing my wits. I thought this sleep mumbo-jumbo was only for first babies, when I didn’t know what I was doing. After all, this is kid #5 I am talking about. I thought I had this all down pat four times through, what gives?!
So…I cut out naps all together. Come five o’clock, however, it became wicked painful to keep this kid awake. There were chocolate chips involved if we had to go anywhere in the car along with loud singing and lots of dancing. It was hard work no matter how I tried to configure it. So I gave up trying. I gave up the damn alarm clock and instead now encourage him to sleep in as long as I can. Then he doesn’t really need a nap, which renders a tired and fully worn out toddler at bedtime. Bed time went back to taking all of five minutes before he zonks right out. Ah, thank you!
Of course, there are, and always will be, days that are exceptions. Like yesterday, when Sorrel fell asleep at a quarter to four in the afternoon, right smack in the middle of the kitchen floor. But you know what?! I gave up and let him sleep. I got some things accomplished that would have taken me hours if he were awake. And to top it all off…he still went to bed at 10pm. Not too bad. That one hour of sanity was totally worth it. Plus, it gave me the chance to capture the littleness in him, that won’t be around forever.