Thursday, June 17, 2010

I Thought It Was Going To Be a Lot More Fun.

This week I changed my daughters' naps into Quiet Time. This involves sequestering them in separate rooms, with the doors closed, and telling them to read, do puzzles, or draw quietly for one hour until I tell them they may come out. They are only allowed to come out of their rooms if they need to use the bathroom. They do fine with these parameters, even though if I put them in their beds they would definitely still nap. I decided to drop their naps for two reasons: one, so they'll fall asleep more easily and earlier at night (mainly Genevieve), and two, so Julia can gradually get used to being up all day before first grade starts in the fall.

Of course making this switch resulted in an immediate early, fast bedtime at night. We're talking total silence by 7:30 at the latest. But what you have to understand is how beastly they are from about 2:30 or 3 p.m. on. And sometimes, like today, in the mornings when they get up, too. BECAUSE THEY ARE TIRED, PEOPLE. Sure, a 7:15 bedtime is awesome, but let's face it: that is the ONLY awesome thing about dropping the nap. And guess who benefits the most from a 7:15 bedtime, and guess who suffers the most from everything else? You might think that a couple of crabby girls doesn't sound all that bad, but if you are the parent dealing with the nonstop crying, tantrums, screaming, and fussing, it does not take long for you to feel like you'll never survive, and that your best short-term solution is to lock yourself in the master bedroom and turn on the TV, the bathroom fan, and the white-noise machine to "high" for twenty minutes while you daydream about a solo playdate between you and a bottle of wine. As an example.

As my friend Connie said in empathy, "The only person who benefits from dropping the nap is the non-stay-at-home parent, because their day is still completely the same but their evenings are super smooth."

And that's how the Summer of Fun is going so far.


Mom/Nonna said...

Well, my take, for what little it's worth, is that they still *need* the naps. Maybe you could wake them after an hour like you sometimes have to do. When 1st grade starts, Julia will be tired but will slowly adjust, just like she did when she started kindergarten. And knowing her, she may just fall asleep over a book after school and have to be wakened a little later! You will survive, Mama. We all do.

Shan said...

I've been waking them after an hour for months. G. still talked, fussed, called, and yelled till 8:30 or later. But if she has quiet time she falls asleep instantly. Don't get me wrong; I would love to still let them nap. I feel pressure on all sides to eliminate it though.

Angel said...

I hear ya! We have gone back and forth on Coop's nap too. Not fun. Crabby pants all afternoon/evening vs. up until 9. Not great options either way you do it. And I do have mommy guilt when I NEED him to nap, but then he can't fall asleep at night. Argh. I'll agree to ignore your crabby, fussing children if you ignore mine. ;)

Shan said...

OMG Angel, you said it all. I have the same guilt. Can't stand another second of their crankiness, put them down for naps, then my household hates me b/c they fuss and cry till 9. Keep them up, go nutso dealing with the crankiness, they go to bed early. Argh! No solution. Exactly.

Rita said...

Oh how I love nap time. I can see why you miss it.

Hang in there. I'll be keeping my fingers crossed that everyone adjusts.

Mnmom said...

The only real solution is that they WILL grow up. Right now the key word is SURVIVAL.

Tonight at Twin #2's soccer game (which she STILL can't play due to injury) young parents with kids younger than yours walked by with the stroller and bikes. They stopped a let those little ones roll down the hill a few time.

Some of us "older" Moms were watching and remarking about carrying home the bike, listening to the whining, and walking slowly away from the child who was planted, screaming, on the sidewalk and refusing to budge unless carried.

One Mom turned to me and said "Do you miss those days?" I had to be honest and say "No, not really. But it's fun to watch it from clear over here."

Anonymous said...

All 3 of my kids were done taking naps by the time they were two and a half. It is nice to be able to run errands in the afternoon if needed.
They do start getting ready for bed by 7 pm though.