Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The Nap is Dead

I am killing it.

Carmella quit napping regularly at 21 months--right after I found out I was pregnant with Beau. That sucked but then I began quiet time, so it worked out okay . . .eventually. And ever since Beau was born I have made an effort to encourage him to take naps. Mostly I do this by wearing his ass out. Also, as a second child he has learned to get sleep when it is offered. He has always been a great napper so really I didn't do much; but I have felt blessed because Carmella was everything but a great napper. However, all this napping is becoming a problem. I have found that the naps just aren't working to my advantage anymore.

Beau will be 3 in 2 months and his naps are very inconvenient. Also, he doesn't nap everyday, most days yes, but not everyday. So I decided for summer I would help him quit. We started the quit napping program 3 days ago. It is a cold turkey program, no patch, no gentle cutting back. Just quitting.

My thinking is that it is summer and who wants to spend 2-3 hours stuck inside while they wait for their almost 3 year old to wake up? I'll tell you who doesn't, me and Carmella. We get bored and we are tired of being quiet and we are tired of cleaning, watching TV, doing work sheets, crafts and such. We want to do fun things, social things, we want to go to the pool.

Also, I should add that taking the nap away has a two-fold purpose. In taking the nap away I will also (finally) be getting rid of the baby. For those not in the know the baby is the pacifier. Once my kids hit 6 months old I limited paci use to the bed--naps and bedtime-- only. Occasionally I broke this rule for long car rides or when they were sick. The "in bed only" rule has worked well with both kids. Grandparents, however, do not follow this rule but my kids and I have embraced the "what happens at grandma's stays at grandma's" philosophy. I am just saner not knowing everything, really, anything that goes on at either Lala's or Bubbles's house.

In our house, Ryan is the sandman and usually puts the kids to bed at night. He is better at it than I am. There is always less fussing when he does it. And in regards to banishing the pacifier, he is king. I don't know how he did it but he took Beau's baby away around 18 months; he did it with Carmella too. So Beau has been only having the baby at naptimes and that was because I am weak and wanted him to nap and giving him the baby was how I got him to do that. I did the same with Carmella until I realized she was no longer napping so then I just took the paci away. No nap, no paci.

Today we are on day three of the no napping program and Beau is starting to feel the effects. He had a meltdown at the gym that was ended by my allowing him to wear his cowboy boots and have his yellow truck with Scooby Doo on it-- both of these items just happened to be in my car and proved great negotiating tools for talking him down from the toddler ledge of insanity (which, if I am being honest, I was ready to shove him off of). The boots and car were in no way related to the origin of the meltdown but they resolved it. You know, whatever works. He completely freaked everyone out at the gym nursery today and I have to admit as annoying as it was, I was pretty entertained by it. He showed them three things today: first, that he can throw an Olympic size tantrum like no one else, second, that I wasn't kidding when I said he was Houdini when they watched in disbelief at how quickly he was able to shimmy under the 5 inch opening of the half door and third, exactly how strong and fast he is when he not only managed to wrangle away from them but easily opened several doors that I see adults struggle with everyday. He almost made it to the parking lot before they caught up with him.

Beau was okay after he got his cowboy boots and truck and things went fairly smooth the rest of the day. We had lunch, we ran errands and then we went to the pool for 2 1/2 hours. I could tell he was tired since this was the first day that he didn't put up a fight about going home. Or like on Friday, when I announced it was time go and I took his floaty off, he ran and jumped in the pool and nearly drowned--you know, just to show me that he wasn't going home and he really meant it. That was a fun heart attack for me.

Today though, he actually walked to the car instead of me having to carry him there kicking and screaming like I did on Saturday and then again on Sunday. Once we got home he laid on the floor and asked for a nap. I told him no and he began tantruming again him. I ignored him and put him in the tub. I bathed both he and Carmella and then set the kids up with a movie while I made them dinner.

When I called them to dinner only Carmella came. Beau had fallen asleep watching Scooby Doo. I woke him up and he sat dazed at the kitchen table half chewing his food. He kept laying down across the other chairs and I kept waking him up to eat. It was only 5:30 pm and I couldn't let him go to sleep yet. He had to hold out until at least 6:30, preferably 7.

My hopes(read plan)in stopping the naps are that Beau will go to bed an hour earlier-- and Carmella will be going then too-- and that he will then sleep until 8 in the morning instead of his usual 7, 6:30 am. This will make up for the 2 hour nap I am making him skip but still afford him enough sleep. Also, it will allow me some adult time in the evening with Ryan and some peace in the morning. I just see this as a win win situation, assuming it works.

So far so good, it is 7 pm and both kids are in bed.


  1. More power to you! Our nap is disappearing too but I am not encouraging that kind of behavior, especially on pool days.

    Last week Annika fell asleep in her chair during dinner. Once we discovered that she wasn't dead or ill, it was hilarious.

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