There is something missing in my life and I wish so badly I could get it back.
I am bereft at its lost, why did it have to go and leave me this way? We had so many good times together and now I fear those times are gone, lost forever.
I’m talking about the end of the daytime nap.
I am gutted to have lost this.
I don’t even know why it has happened, my toddler has always been an excellent napper. Well, apart from the very early weeks but no one counts those as they’re just about survival.
She started to refuse the daytime nap at nursery towards the end of last year before she even turned two.
Now she refuses to nap at home too. It crept in gradually and was not helped by the arrival of her sister I’m sure.
Like an idiot I kept making the mistake of asking her, “would you like a nap?” To which the answer is, obviously, no.
Her post-lunch nap used to last up to two hours. During that time I could get housework done, or my more likely option was to lie in bed watching a film on my iPad while eating Maltesers. Heaven.
It was amazing to get this break in the day. It was an important psychological refresh for me when I could steal myself to survive whatever she had to throw at me, literally sometimes, in the afternoon.
Out of desperation I’ve tried various different tactics to reclaim my short burst freedom:
I offer various opportunities in exchange for a nap. Biscuits and other snacks, the chance to go somewhere exciting, watching Peppa Pig.
The problem with bribery and toddlers is they don’t understand the concept. Once you’ve mentioned something, they just want it. The concept of exchange in return for something else is lost on them.
What they know is if they put up enough of an almighty fuss they will get the thing anyway just to shut them up.
Much like when I need to clean her teeth, I tell my toddler we won’t be able to go to the playground unless she has a nice sleep.
It works with her teeth but the thought of a nap is so abhorrent to her she decides she would rather risk not having it.
I cram as much as possible into the morning in order to maximise the potential for being tired.
I’m talking farm visits, splash pads, a long walk during which she isn’t allowed to sit in the buggy the entire time. Sadly the end result is often that she falls asleep in the car on the way home, then wakes up once we arrive back 10 minutes later. What follows is a loooong bout of crying because her sleep was disturbed. It can only be stopped with bribery.
Everyone knows using logic with a toddler is useless, but it’s worth a shot!
I try to plant the seed of taking a nap gradually. I suggest to my toddler that maybe she’s getting a bit tired. I continually talk about how tired I am and that I’m taking a break after lunch.
Eventually I say “right its time to go upstairs” and carry her up without any discussion. She looks at me blankly as I lay her down on her bed then I leave the room.
Less than one-minute later she is kicking the headboard so loudly it sounds like a herd of elephants is passing through her room.
Sadly my tactics have all failed. I have been outwitted on multiple occasions by a toddler.
Luckily my youngest does nap in the day in her own bed now or I would be heading for a serious meltdown.
So RIP to the daytime nap. I will miss you so. If you ever want to pop back for a brief visit, you will be welcomed with open arms.