Friday, August 17, 2012

Nap Post for Posterity

This week was my first help-free week since Bridget was born. No Danielle (our fabulous summer sitter, whom I've all but contracted in blood to come back next year); no Dave; no Nan and Mamp except for the more spontaneous playdates. Of course I still had the boys alternating between two morning camps all week, so in order to avoid messy logistical situations, I decided to cut out naps. Altogether.

Will, at almost four, is a sleep-happy guy. As recorded here over the years, he liked night sleep early on, and although his nap seemed to be on the way out as he edged closer to three, something in his brain BOOMERANGED back in the other direction. He's actually been my more consistent napper in the last nine months.

Finn, just past two and a half, is my Typical Toddler in terms of napping (also, incidentally, in terms of pouting). His brain doesn't switch off the way Will's does. He wants to keep going, and reasoning with him is pointless.

Let's pause and take a look at how Reasoning with Children works in the Noon household:

Joanna trying to put a reluctant Will to sleep:

J: Honey, you need to put your head down and nap now. Remember, our bodies need sleep so they can stay healthy and strong. And we can go to the playground after nap, but you need to stay quiet until it's time to get up!

W: [already sleeping]

Joanna trying to put a reluctant Finn to sleep:

J: Honey, you--

F: Look! I can jump! SO HIGH! [jumps off bed]

J: Finny, you need to--

F: I don't WANT to go sleep! [belly-flops, tears suddenly streaming down face]

J: Finny, it's okay, sweetie, it's just that our bodies--


So although Will was still content to take a nap and Finn still needs a nap, I decided to "go on adventures" instead. This week our destinations included the library, the train station and a restaurant (actually fun) and the supermarket, gas station and paint store (sort of a stretch to call those "adventures," admittedly). Finn catnapped in the car on two of those days, and Will on one, and of course Bridget's naps have to be similarly random after she gets a good morning chunk in. But we didn't organize around naps.

And we had SO MUCH FUN. The days paradoxically seemed to go by faster because they weren't so piecemeal. Instead of struggling with constant transitions--two drop-offs and pick-ups by noon, seven bedtimes PER DAY if you count each kid's nap and bedtime--I was actually enjoying my kids, and they were happy, too. Tired, but happy!

Last night the sleep deprivation had caught up to them by early afternoon and they didn't really recover. They'd been sleeping from 7 p.m.-7:15 or 7:30 a.m. this week, but last night Finn woke up with a nightmare and I couldn't help but wonder if it was the exhaustion playing tricks on his poor little brain. So this morning I told them they were going to eat lunch and take a nap after getting home from camp, and Will was very excited. Sure enough, they hit the proverbial hay at one and are out cold.

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