Goodbye, Nap. I Will Miss You.

Our middle child, Brooke, has stopped napping.  I've suspected that she was headed in this direction for many weeks now, but I've been hesitant to put it in writing.  Secretly, I've entertained hopes that she'd rebound with consistent afternoon slumbers.  This hasn't happened.  She's embracing mid-day wakefulness like a champion.

Oh snap.

Of course, next month she'll be turning three-and-a-half.  Some mothers could quickly point out, "Well, my kid stopped napping when he was two," and another could chime in, "And mine stopped napping at one," and someone could potentially add, "My daughter never napped well -- never -- so there's no room to complain when a child naps for over three years." 

To which I will preemptively respond: true.  I'll also add that that many other women probably had longer and worse labors than I did, and they'd hate hearing that I never once got stretch marks during my three pregnancies.  But, I might fall behind in a host of other categories, and life is just too short to get caught up in the comparison trap because it's never beneficial, is it not?

So, where was I? 

Oh, yes.  My daughter has stopped napping -- and I am in mourning.

Doesn't she recognize how tired I am in the afternoon directly after lunch?  Doesn't she know that I feel better when she sleeps?  This is a faulty strain of logic, I know.  It's similar to asking a child to put on warmer clothes and cover their bare feet with socks because you're cold, or asking your husband to please drink something when you're in labor simply because you're unbearably thirsty and the nurses will only let  you suck on a measly dixie-cup's worth of ice chips.  (For the record, I'm guilty on both accounts.)

I want to look at her and say:  "Dear child, if I was given the option to slow down and settle into a cozy bed in the middle of the day, I would take it.  I would revel in someone tucking me in and telling me that it was permissible -- good even -- to rest.  I wouldn't do what your daddy does, which is to wake up from a nap ten minutes later, refreshed and alert, with a new vision for the rest of the day.  I would turn that nap into a two-hour daytime coma and wake up in a haze where -- for a few moments -- I couldn't recall what month it was, let alone what day it was." 

In return, she would look at me blankly and say, "So, do you want to play?"

I would sigh and say, "Okay.  Let's play something very still and quiet.  Let's play a game called Mommy Pretends to Nap.  It goes something like this."

And then I would curl up on the floor with a pillow and play for as long as she would let me.

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  1. Dudette lost her naps right around 3 1/2 as well and I remember mourning. You can really milk the Mommy Pretends to Nap game, just so you know. I call it cuddling and we do it in my bed. Dudette's 5 and it still works.

  2. Sorry. My baby is almost 4. It takes quite a bit of time and effort, but I can usually get my baby to nap. Because Mommas needs it!


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