Nope Time

I know that what I’m about to admit here is sacrilege: I’m ready for Harper to give up her nap.
Oh sure, that 2-hour break in the middle of my 15-hour day is what keeps me from throwing Special Baby Doll against the wall. But getting Harper down for her nap is what causes me to want to throw Special Baby Doll against the wall in the first place.  Lately I’m not even able to enjoy her naps by, you know, blogging, or napping myself, or, more realistically, prepping for the writing class I teach, or cleaning (JUST KIDDING!): it’s more like huddling over a glass of water, staring into space, and rocking back and forth to shake the PTNSD. (Post-traumatic-nap-stress-disorder.)

Today I think I did everything right. We were out of the house early, in the natural scorching Venusian sunlight. She ran around on the playground. She ran in the sprinklers. She completed her 40-minute-a-day swing regimen. We walked to the Y, where she hung out in Childwatch until one of the babysitters scurried over to fetch me, traumatized by the poop-of-a-homeless-alcoholic Harper  had unleashed upon them, not that I could attend to this right away because the room of the Baby Bootcamp class (yes) was sealed shut by the humidity and we were all stuck, which is pretty much the story of my life I guess. After this adventure, she enjoyed some wholesome but not-sugary snacks, and once the baby was asleep in his crib, we sat in her room to read some relaxing literature.

ONE HOUR LATER she was still twisting and turning with goony Dan Rather eyes, valiantly fighting that evil thing called sleep. I mean, I’ve tried everything, I think: the quiet restful morning, the jam-packed activity morning, the stroller nap, cry-it-out, reading-and-singing, hypnosis, fury, barbiturates.  Will somebody please tell me what I’m missing?

Meanwhile, just think what life could be like if she actually didn’t need to nap anymore. Instead of returning home every day at 11:30 to wind down for the daily siege, we could be out and about, perhaps even leaving the borough now and then. I daydream about trips to frosty museums, traveling to Queens for exotic snacks, meeting Daddy for lunch in the city. Unfortunately, when she does skip her nap, by 4 pm she’s a strung-out-looking wilted wisp of herself, prone to tears at the literal drop of a literal hat. So then I feel like a pretty crappy mother. Especially if that happens to have been the day when after one child’s nap refusal involved purposefully interrupting the other child’s nap I actually did throw Special Baby Doll against the wall.

Just kidding, I would never throw Special Baby Doll against the wall.

Just kidding, I would. Um.

Any naptime tips? I have to figure out how to help Alton be a better napper, and he’s about to be 4 months old which is when that sleep guy says you have to start the sleep stuff!  Otherwise just think of what poor Special Baby Doll will look like in a few years.

This is your brain on no nap. (from rubyfloy's etsy shop)

9 responses to “Nope Time

  1. If it were me (or I), I think this is a good time to try TV. Skip the nap and let H. be mesmerized by our the miracle tube. There are quality programs (can you get Sanford and Son or The Dick Van Dyke show) available. Harper will be fine. We saw it on Freakonomics. If you are the kind of parent who is worried about your child watching too much TV, then your child will get the correct amount of nurturing and stimulation.
    It will give you the needed amount of relaxation. As Sammy Davis Jr and I always sing, “I can’t be right for somebody else, if I’m not right for me.”

  2. I was evil but i will share. When Isaiah started to act up during his nap time by dancing in his crib violently, I would take away his special blanky and his special monkeys and say, “I will not give them back unless you lay down quietly.” My nanny taught me the trick. He would cry and I would come back, give them back and tell him to be quiet. It worked and still works when he gets crazy. I have days when I think the whole procedure is not worth it but that time is oh so precious. What class are you teaching? Where? When?

    • I tried that! With special baby doll! I felt TERRIBLE. It worked to get her to stay in bed but didn’t exactly put her in a restful mood. Ugh it’s so hard!

      Actually my class just ended but I was teaching Fiction 1 for NYU SCPS. Fun stuff.

  3. Is it just me or is Special Baby Doll kind of freaky? It’s probably just my skeptical placenta talking. I have no solutions for the nap thing except to suggest (if you haven’t already) that you do some some serious room darkening with blackout shades, towels pushed under doors etc. For us it’s made a world of difference.

  4. Can you put her to bed extra early, like 6:30 instead of her regular time on days she doesn’t nap? Or just let her chill in her bed for 40 minutes or an hour or whatever and play alone if she will. At least then you can get the break you need and she can get rest, albeit not sleep…

  5. By the way, I can’t help but think that insane heat you all are experiencing must be contributing to general unease around there– maybe once the weather chills, she will return to her typical patterns. Especially once preschool begins….

  6. nothing but smiles and chuckles as I read this. I am a 59 year old grandmother … just enjoying your writing style. thanks for sharing.

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