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Do Not Go Gentle into That Last Nap

October 1, 2014

This past weekend, we entered into a new Twilight Zone:  the end of naps, for good?

It has been building for a while.  No one told me about the weird phase of toddlerhood when they fall asleep readily at naptime and then are awake and partying until 9:30 or 10 pm.

I could have let this go for a while, if they were awake but quiet after bedtime.

Ha.

The other night my kids made up a game called “Fox Ball,” in which Theresa’s stuffed fox is thrown from bed to bed like a turn around the bases.  Audrey has a wicked sidearm.

In an attempt to keep them awake but still give me no-kid time, we moved into a new phase of “rest time” in which each kid gets several books and maybe a puzzle, for an hour and a bit.  Jamie and Theresa started off in pack’n’plays, and graduated to little cots.  Audrey got her own bed, and I think she pretty much stayed there even though she had the whole room at her disposal.

But even then the girls–and sometimes Jamie–would fall asleep among their books and in full light coming in through the windows, and then the after-bedtime-party would shake the kitchen ceiling.

Dropping a nap has been a challenging process both times we’ve gone through it before–not necessarily for the kids, but more so for me.  I cherish that kid-free time.  Need it, in fact.  Especially on those days when I am by myself.  How will I manage without that break?

As usual, the transition is a process of trial and error.  We currently have individual quiet time for half an hour, followed by an hour of storytime to ensure no one accidentally falls asleep.  We think we need to move bedtime earlier rather than keep it at its old slot.

I am glad to have that post-bedtime quiet back.  I am glad not to have to go in five times for potty time or to break up fights or confiscate stuffed animals.  Really, I miss the days when we had peace at naptime AND peace after bedtime–those were glorious.

I know there are glorious days ahead of us too.  We will navigate the cranky-pants late afternoons, the meltdowns over tooth-brushing, the loss of all coping skills as their little bodies adjust to a different rhythm.

For now, I offer this, with apologies to Dylan Thomas:

Do not go gentle into that last nap.
Parents do burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the toddler sleeping gap.

Wise parents, who’ll lose sanity’s last scrap
Without those brief reprieves of silence; they
Do not go gentle into that last nap.

Good parents, who feel their patience will snap
Like fishing line pulled taut across a bay,
Rage, rage against the toddler sleeping gap.

Wild toddlers, whose energy does not sap
But builds to crabbiness with no delay,
Do not go gentle into that last nap.

Crazed parents, who anticipate this crap
In bedtime wars where both sides lose the fray,
Rage, rage against the toddler sleeping gap.

And you, my children, cuddled on my lap,
Exhausted from your growth but want to play,
Do not go gentle into that last nap.
Rage, rage against the toddler sleeping gap.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Neal & BJ permalink
    October 2, 2014 6:14 am

    Awesome!! I think Dylan Thomas would be honored! Love to all!

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