Do any 3-year-olds willingly lie down and take a nap?
Grace doesn’t, but – really – she never has. Somewhere around 2 months, she stopped napping nicely and started resisting daytime sleep.
I should also admit that she’s been a great nighttime sleeper since that time. She was sleeping through the night (for 8 to 12 hours) around 2 months old. We got a trade off, I think.
Still, Grace needs a nap in the afternoon in order to be friendly and cooperative and enthusiastic and herself in the evening.
These days, Grace doesn’t like to take a nap unless it’s her idea. When she is ready to go to sleep, she lies down and closes her eyes. When she isn’t ready to go to sleep, she argues, fights, bucks, and generally makes everyone miserable.
I’ve stopped fighting with her. Like so many things, I simply can’t force her to sleep. I can make her lie down. I can make her be quiet. I can’t make her sleep, and she knows it.
Wednesday, in light of our exciting ultrasound, Grace didn’t want to nap at all. I suggested she snooze a bit, so she’d be “fresh and nice” for the afternoon. She laid down next to me on the couch for about five minutes, then jumped up and said,
I’m nice! I’m fresh! I’m done with my nap. Do you have time to play with me?
I’m a wise Momma, and I have a few tricks to entice Grace to sleep, even when she’s wound up and reluctant.
My tricks are simple: get in the car, play bedtime music, and drive.
Unfortunately, Grace has tricks, too. Her primary trick to stay awake involves talking. Non-stop.
I left home about ninety minutes before my ultrasound appointment, hoping Grace would fall asleep in the car, and we’d arrive at the appointment fresh and nice and rested. The whole way to the doctor’s office, she talked. Questions, observations, explanations, singing. Her mouth never stopped.
Since I didn’t want to be ninety minutes early for my appointment, I stopped at a store on the way to the doctor’s office. We picked up ink for my printer and got back in the car. I could tell she was tired as I buckled her into her car seat,Â so I turned on her bedtime music.
Momma, why did you turn on my bedtime music?
She’s never called me on it before, and I felt like a deer in the headlights. “I thought we could use some quiet tunes, Honey,” I responded. She seemed happy with that answer, and we left the parking lot.
I could see her eyelids drooping in the rear view mirror, but the doctor’s office is only about three blocks away from the store. I decided to keep driving, assuming she wouldn’t notice.
As we passed the doctor’s office, Grace sprang to life.
Momma! That’s your baby doctor’s office! You passed it! How did you miss it? You have a baby doctor appointment today! And you drove past the baby doctor’s office!
Cue the deer in the headlights look. Again.
“I missed it? How did I do that, Grace?” I asked incredulously.
I don’t know! It’s a good thing I was with you, Momma!
I turned around and went back toward the doctor’s office. I couldn’t believe she’d caught me, not once, but twice.
We ended up being an hour early for the appointment.
And she never did take a nap.
Happily submitted to Friday Fails
© 2010, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.