The end of naptime?

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July 12, 2013 by Dadinator

Day before yesterday, we went shopping in Maryborough. It’s about a 45 minute drive, and it has the nearest cheaper supermarkets, including a certain German chain that is relatively new in Australia. You know the one. We got out there without The Lad falling asleep, which was all part of our scheme. We didn’t want naps on the way down, but on the way home. He had some rice cakes and a big drink before we re packed the car and went home. About half way home he nodded off. Excellent. The Mamanator and I exchanged knowing smiles and uttered a joint sigh of relief. Sleeping toddler means more time for other pursuits. The Mamanator wanted to get into the boudoir as quickly as possible. It had been a while with The Lad running around, so she was very enthusiastic about getting right into bed. And having a well deserved nap. I was going to make butter and then bake, because that’s the kind of man I am. Scones, thanks for asking. Using buttermilk.

As I pulled up we got down to business. The Mamanator went to the bedroom to make the most of his nap time, and I was tasked with transferring The Lad and keeping him asleep. I got him to the cot, and into the cot before I heard the first whimper. It didn’t go away. He stirred and rolled his way out of sleep. I gave him an arm to rub, then picked him up to rock him and try to settle him. He nodded back off. Then woke again the second he hit the mattress. 15 minutes of rocking and attempting to re settle seemed to make The Lad more alert and less asleep. He was all smiles and general perkiness. The best laid plans and all that….

So I broke the news to the missus, she took it well, our plans were cast aside. She wouldn’t get time in bed. I wouldn’t get to bake scones. I had been sconeblocked. He ate lunch and then got on with the business of being a toddler. I was worried I’d face grump pants McTrantrum. I got this:

Clearly he was traumatised.

Clearly he was traumatised.

His mood was fine, he got a bit stumbly by evening, and was clearly tired, but he didn’t get cranky. In days since he has had little to no daytime sleep without issue. Maybe he is moving past the whole nap thing, just in time for the last 2 months of The Mamanator’s pregnancy….

There have been days where he hasn’t slept. I thought I’d share a bit of a survival guide for those days when they simply don’t nap. When that happens you may get a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. What about the housework? What about me time? What about a chance to relax? What about MY nap? What about a chance to have an adult relationship without the toddler running around?

Well… unfortunately it’s tough titties. If they don’t sleep you can kiss all of the above goodbye, and there’s not much you can do about it, short of putting them (or yourself) in a padded cell. Sure you can have routines, establish sleep signals, pump them full of milk with its beautiful beautiful tryptophan (Daria reference for those who get it). But let’s say you’ve tried this. You’ve tried calming music, massages, television, night time stories, hypno-toads….. There comes a point where you realise it isn’t going to happen.

First up, whatever you thought you were going to do, let it go. Just let it go man, it’s not going to happen and there’s nothing you can do about it. Whether it was getting the floors so clean they shined, cooking up something special, writing a blog post or having a moment of intimacy with your other half, the opportunity is gone. You don’t have time to go through a full grieving process, so skip to acceptance and understand that your life is hostage to the whims of a fickle little egomaniac.

Secondly, TV is your friend. There are some things that are essential to do. ABC 4 can give you that chance. Use it, but use it sparingly…. Great for toilet breaks, finishing jobs you had half started or getting lunch organised. If you are no screen parents, I salute you. And best of luck….

Thirdly, and I mean this, it is not your kid’s fault, and there is no point pretending that it is. It is just one of those punches you have to roll with. Go easy on yourself, take some deep breaths and remember when they are teenaged you’ll be trying to pry them out of bed with a crowbar…

Update: this was today


So in conclusion: who bloody knows?


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