But, this nap time is not so easy to come by at the Pardy home. Oh, no. I know there are many kids out there who have snooze-buttons built in...kids whose parents wind them up in the morning only to perfectly settle down at an appropriate time, sleep for a few hours, and get beautifully recharged, awakening at another appropriate hour as pleasant, well-rested children who are neither manic nor depressive and who, regardless of their lengthy siesta, still go down for bedtime at (you guessed it) another appropriate time of day. Yeah, this is not us. And maybe it's not you either (don't make me hate you)...but chances are good at some point you've heard "Oh really? She doesn't like to nap? Little Johnny gets in a good 2pm-5pm nap like clockwork!" Well, good for little Johnny. [Names have been changed to protect the innocent.]
Nope, not my eager-to-go-get-em (and by "em" I mean all things in the universe within her sight) miss Matilda. I'd say on average it takes about an hour and a half or longer to put this child down for a nap. We are in that ridiculous phase of giving up two naps and switching to one...only to find that this doesn't necessarily mean the child will understand the idea of "consolidating time"...so instead of two short naps, we get maybe one short nap!? This does not add up.
So, what does she do when she is supposed to be napping but not napping? Um, ANYTHING. The stinker has the stalling game down to a freaking science.
Up out of bed.
Playing with stuffed animals.
Dancing with said animals.
Diapering said animals.
Throwing said animals.
Climbing the bed.
Climbing the glider.
Removing the cushions from the glider.
Removing the sheets and pillow from her bed.
Building a nest in the middle of the floor with said sheets and pillows.
Yelling and making airplane noises ("neeeeeer").
Yelling "I have poo!" only to fake us out once we go in there.
Yelling "I have poo!" and actually having poo which may or may not have made it onto the floor depending on how clothed she may be at the moment.
Knocking on the door, leading to throwing her body against the door, followed by hitting her head against the door.
And the list continues...
All of which begs the eternal question I ask myself daily as I sit and watch her in the video monitor "Do I go in there?" (Sigh of frustration). Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't, sometimes we start the nap time routine over from the beginning (new diaper, storybooks, sing "Jesus Loves Me", put her down, hit the glow worm and walk out) and sometimes I just return her to bed like a silent nap-time-nazi-robot-mother. The point is, regardless of routine, regardless of the amount of activity beforehand, regardless of eating beforehand, regardless of the time of day or the amount of yawning involved...there is just absolutely no way to predict if this child will go to sleep or not.
Suggestions? (This is the part where you give me your anecdote and free advice on how to all-but-give-Nyquil to my toddler).
The crazy thing? She goes down for bed (almost nearly) every night with no problem! Matilda the enigma. Granted, her throughout-the-night sleeping habits have been hit or miss. Some nights are perfect. Some nights she is up out of bed determined to start the day at 3am (the other night she even fell back asleep in her glider after getting up to read books to her animals...in the pitch black of her room).
And the majority of nights she just has very restless sleep, but manages to stay in bed. (We see her over the video monitor kicking and yelling, tossing and turning, rotating and completely sleeping with her head in every possible spot of the bed throughout the night.)
Apart from having this child tested to see just how much monkey DNA is in her blood...it's all I can do to keep up with her!
So, when there are moments like now - when she is down for a nap and (prepare for a standing ovation) Daphne fell asleep at the same time (thank you, thank you, no really - okay, thank you) I count my blessings, my lucky stars, and the chores on my never-ending to-do list. It's quiet enough to even hear the voice in my head - shouting out all the things I could do to fill this precious moment: shower? fold clothes? dishes? blog? eat? tv? nap? floss?
Well...I guess we all know now what I chose. You'll have to give me grace (and a breath mint) foregoing all the other options.
What's that noise? Crying? (Uh oh). Matilda is awake? Hello afternoon! Here we go...