Bye-bye naps, bye-bye nappiness

Crying babyOh my God, the screaming. “I DOOONT WAANT TO! I DOONT WANNA TAKE A NAP!” and the shrieking, over and over and over. Well, kid, I don’t wanna sit here, either. With each shriek my ear drums rattle, and I can just picture them getting weaker in my mind. I wonder what will do more aural damage – the countless heavy metal shows I

saw in my youth or sitting here in my 40s, listening to a two-year-old scream. My preference would be to leave him alone to his screams but the little bugger learned to climb out of his bed and now I have to babysit him so he doesn’t climb out and break his head. Or worse, escape his nap.

Ever since we got back from New York — more than a month ago — he’s been like this. While we were there, he didn’t nap unless we happened to be driving at nap time. At night, one of us had to lay with him and his sister just to get them to sleep. Inexplicably, their Yiaya got them to sleep by themselves. I don’t know how she did it, because they wouldn’t do it for us.

People say cherish every moment but I’ll be happy when they can both bounce back from a trip and freakin’ sleep. My daughter had no problems this time. We returned her to her bed and she went to sleep and woke up, just like always. We’ve got three more years until he can do that. Crap. So from now until then, we won’t go anywhere because this two-year-old is holding us hostage with his f-ing sleep patterns.

I just want to get a bigger crib – with higher sides – so I can just leave him here and he can’t climb out. We’ve got this crib on its lowest setting. Usually when a kid can crawl out of his crib you switch to a big boy bed – for his safety. That will not happen. Not in our house, anyway. If he can’t be contained, he won’t sleep. At bedtime, he does the same thing – screams and screams until he wears himself out, then he sits for a while, then lies down, and eventually, falls asleep.

I found that music works on him, a little bit anyway. I know they say no screens before bed but yesterday I put on a lullaby video on my Kindle and it mesmerized him. As he watched it, he sunk lower and lower in his bed, until he was lying down and then, calm, he fell asleep. Today’s not so easy. He doesn’t want music. I know. He screamed “I DON’T WANT MUUUUSIC!!” about ten times before I turned it off.

Today it’s just me and him. God, I wish I could just leave and he’d go to sleep. Whatever happened to that? We used to do that all the time, and he’d go obediently to sleep. But now he’ll be three and threes won’t do anything you want them to. Even in waking life he’s gearing up for three. “I don’t want to” is his new favorite phrase. I hated three with my daughter. I’m gonna hate it with him too. When my daughter was three, I kept hoping that upon her fourth birthday, a beam would shine down from the sky and leave a halo in its wake. Four didn’t happen that way, but shortly thereafter, she calmed down. I’d love to skip three altogether and go directly to four. I know, cherish every moment, blah, blah, blah.

The weird part about all this is that my son lies down at all, considering how adamantly anti-nap he is. But sooner or later, nature takes over and after wasting an hour that could be spent peacefully watching “Dinosaurs” with my daughter; my tired boy goes to sleep. Thank God because I need his nap. It brings me nappiness.

But now the jig is up. I’m sure a really good mother would conclude that he doesn’t need a nap, and tirelessly care for him from sunup to sundown, tucking the little darling in at night, her beatific face watching him drift off silently to sleep. Not me. After more than a month of spending an hour with him screaming every time he went to bed, I declared that I’d had enough – no more naps. I just couldn’t take the screaming and the wasted time anymore.

I know there are moms out there going, “Any time you spend with your kid is precious” and tst-tst-tst-ing about how horrible a mom I am. Trust me, listening to your kid scream before a nap and having him hijack your Kindle so you can’t even read is a waste of time. And by the way, reading in the presence of a shrieking toddler is pretty much impossible anyway. My husband and I didn’t do any bonding with our son at nap time or bedtime. We just played warden to our unruly prisoner.  And we still have to do it at night, but now night duty is shorter because he falls asleep faster.

I once read this article “Ten reasons why giving up naps is good” or something like that. I just tried to find it to give you a link but I’m sure the author took it down after the death threats. I did not agree with any of the reasons, but now I’m forced to find my own. Here goes:

  1. I don’t have to listen to him scream for two hours a day
  2. Now I can go to the gym during babysitting hours and let them deal with him
  3. Can’t think of anything but I’m sure I should say something about spending more quality time with my son
  4. Seriously, I got nothing

I’m not the mom to think of ten good reasons. To me it’s just the end of my nappiness. But I did unilaterally decide upon no more naps and I’m sure something good will come out of it, someday. For now, I’m just glad I don’t have to “bond” with a screaming two-year-old two hours a day.



2 comments on “Bye-bye naps, bye-bye nappiness

  1. The only ones who give you that crap about every moment being precious are the one who either 1. didn’t have kids or 2. didn’t raise their kids themselves. The rest of us wish the kids would nap until 2nd grade. The gym daycare thing is genius though. Just be prepared for the possibility that he’ll decide that’s where he wants to sleep. They are such perverse little buggers.

  2. Oh, Lord, if he does decide to sleep at the gym they’ll kick him out. They called me off the elliptical once to tell me he was acting tired. What, exactly, is the problem if he sleeps in daycare? Just put him on the floor somewhere and leave him alone. Honestly!

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