Getting Real with Kira Hazledine
There comes a horrible day in every parent’s life when their child decides that a nap is no longer necessary to their sanity or yours. Most often, they’re wrong, but it doesn’t matter. Ready or not to lose their mid-day siesta, toddlers are stubborn creatures that will refuse nap. Maybe it’s a terrible case of Fear of Missing Out or just an attempt to press every single one of your buttons as fast as they can. This disruption in schedule is inevitable, and these are the five stages you’re likely to face.
They’ll nap eventually, right? It’s just an off day. If you just make them lay there long enough, they’ll drift to sleep. They aren’t getting rid of their nap. It’s all a lie! They’ll nap forever. You like naps. You can nap together.
No, really. You know they’re tired. They are staring you straight in the face, rubbing their bloodshot eyes, insisting they aren’t tired. It’s frustrating because you know they’ll be falling asleep face-first in their dinner, and you’ll spend the entire rest of the day keeping a monster awake. Their emotions will be unpredictable and you’ll count the minutes until you can reasonably put them to bed.
You can promise tablet time only IF they take a nap, but it doesn’t matter. You can get them excited about a favorite activity, but AFTER nap. You can offer one more story, you can put their favorite movie on in hopes they’ll drift off, but none of it will matter. They are AWAKE, whether you like it or not.
You know your toddler is tired and they know it, too. At least once, you’ll try to reason with this overemotional being. You’ll explain that they’ll be so tired later, and that your toddler will feel so much better after nap. They’ll be able to enjoy the rest of their day and have so much fun, if they would just freaking take a nap. It’s healthy to take naps, so please?
If your toddler goes down for nap, bonus. If not, oh well. You’ve already decided it’s not worth fighting anymore. You’d rather do something else with the hour that you’ll spend arguing with them over nap, and you’ll both be happier for it. Maybe you’ll schedule some “quiet time” or maybe you’ll let them go about their regular activities.
You can cling to naptime all you want, but when your toddler decides this precious time is over, you’ll come to terms with it eventually. The moments when nap time does occur will be more precious than ever, so at least try to think positively about this loss.