No, we will never master naptimePosted: 20/05/2014
Just keep calm, I tell myself silently as I listen to ToddlerGirl complaining in the back of the car.
“I want a snack!” (She’s just had lunch at nursery.)
“OK darling, we’ll get you a snack when we get home.”
“I want bunches!” (She’s obsessed with bunches right now.)
“I can’t do them while I’m driving but I’ll do them when we get home.”
“I want a cuddle!”
“Ahh, I can’t cuddle when I’m driving but we’ll have a big cuddle at home soon.”
“No, I want a cuddle with Daddy!” I take a deep breath.
“Ok darling, we’ll see if Daddy can come in for a cuddle when we get home.”
All of this is, I hope, a prelude to her falling asleep and having the nap she so clearly needs. My responses are gentle, my goal to quieten her down enough so she relaxes and allows the sleep in. Inside, though, I want to scream: Why. Won’t. You. Just. Go. To. Sleep!!!!!!! She’s so obviously tired. I don’t get it. I really don’t get it.
Way back when, when I was starting to write about my days with my then BabyGirl, I did a post called Will We Ever Master Naptime? Fast forward two years, and as I take our extended drive home from nursery, I have to admit that the answer is ‘no’.
No, we will never master naptime.
ToddlerGirl’s on the cusp of dropping her naps; we had sort of dropped them but me being pregnant and in need of a rest in the day, and ToddlerGirl suddenly stopping sleeping through the night for some inexplicable reason, has reversed that this year. It’s not easy, though. We’ve only been able to get her to drop off for the last year and a half by driving in the car. Cue days timed around the journey home to coincide with naptime, extended loops around the streets nearby to ensure she drops off, even special trips in the car with no other purpose than to get her to sleep. It’s madness. And hugely frustrating, especially when we know she really needs to sleep but just won’t do it!
It’s also going to be completely unsustainable come the arrival of baby number two…
At that point, ToddlerGirl will either fit in a nap or she won’t. I’m planning for some quiet time every afternoon and early bedtimes. But then there will be the baby’s naps to fit in. Agh, another two years ahead of trying to figure out the mystery that is napping!
I ponder what we could do differently this time. Perhaps making sure all naps happen upstairs and that we put the baby down, rather than rocking to sleep, will help. But what if this doesn’t work? And how does it fit around our existing days with ToddlerGirl? Nope, I can’t quite get my head round it. I have some vague ideas about slings and naps in the pram on the walk back from preschool. I console myself with the thought that we’ve found ways to cope with ToddlerGirl, so we’ll muddle through somehow.
It’s not a huge consolation right now.
All has been quiet in the back but suddenly a little voice pipes up: “Mummy, where have we been this morning?” Sigh. I concede defeat and head for home. I’ve been driving for twenty minutes (a journey that normally takes five to ten minutes) and I’m hungry. I try not to feel frustrated and make plans for some snuggle time with books and the tablet – and a ridiculously early bedtime.
I glance in my mirror and see ToddlerGirl’s eyes are closed. She’s actually fallen asleep! The nap is happening! Just as I’d given up on it!
As I turn into our driveway, I think about the me of two years ago, wondering if I’ll ever get this nap thing right but secretly thinking that surely we would crack it at some point. I have to smile. No, we never have mastered naptime with ToddlerGirl. But, ding-a-ling, round two is on it’s way. Let’s see if we have any more luck figuring it all out with ToddlerGirl’s brother or sister…!
(For more proof of our lack of naptime mastery, you might also like to see my post Now That’s What I Call Naptime – a run down of the lengths we have gone to in order to secure a nap!)