Deconstructing Naptime

I've lived in denial for a full week now. I wake up in the morning and think, "Today will be different! I just know it!." And by about 2pm, despite all the forced optimism, which I cling to like Posh and Becks to a camera lens, I know it isn't. I've heard my friends with older children talk about it with regret in their eyes and barely veiled longing for better months gone by in their voices.

The halcyon days are over.

It's happening. And it seems there's not a thing I can do to stop it.

Isabella appears to be giving up one of her naps.

And it's not her shorter, morning nap. It's the big one. The one during which I'm used to putting in a solid two hours of writing for my job. Or, when I'm in procrastination mode, the one I use to pluck cat fur off the plant leaves and to scrub food chucked off the highchair tray out of the cracks in my hardwod floor.

She's spent the naptimes of the last five afternoons in her crib. But she is not sleeping. Oh no, she is far too busy for such triviality. She props her legs up on the bars of her crib and bangs them. Over and over and over. She works on her vocal stylings with babbling runs, operatic high notes, and raspberries. She redecorates, and on Friday took apart her bumper, and yesterday pulled down her mobile. And she throws things. Her bink. Her stuffed animal. And once, her pants. Which were on her body when I put her down.

She's hard at work with these activities for the greater part of an hour. And then she resorts to yelling and screaming, and eventually, crying. She wants out.

By this time, my concentration on my writing is shot, and I'm mulling over my options. Do I go in and try to rock her to sleep? (But then, if I do that, she's never going to learn to put herself to sleep.) Do I leave her up there to entertain herself for two hours, whether she sleeps or not? Is this down-time good for her (although, considering her antics, it can hardly be construed as "restful")?

Do I have to accept that she's done sleeping twice during the day? Because I don't want to. I really, really am not ready to give this up yet. I mean, I'm not ready for her to give this up yet. Because lest you think otherwise, this is really all about her. Honest. I'm all concerned for her well-being and stuff. And her ability to learn new things and reach cognitive development milestones. Which she cannot do while sleep-deprived. This is in no way about me. Or my desire to have two blessed hours to to watch DVR-ed episodes of What Not To Wear and to walk around my house thinking, "You know, we really ought to do something about that floor-to-ceiling crack in the wall." No, this is clearly all about her. Ahem, moving on.

So, can you make an almost 11-month old start taking two naps again (preferably without the use of a Benadryl smoothie)? Do I have her skip her morning nap instead, and then cross my fingers that she takes one in the afternoon (and preferably a long one-four-to-five hours is about right, right? Right?).

And if not, and she's decided that sleeping is for wussies, what in the name of hell am I going to do with her for 12 long, sleepless hours?

That AAP recommendation about no tv before age two is just a suggestion, right?

8 Responses to “Deconstructing Naptime”

  1. # Blogger My Wombinations

    Oh no! I hope it is just a phase. No afternoon naps could make for one sad mommy.  

  2. # Blogger Marie

    GAH! I'd try to get her to skip the a.m. nap (maybe inch it along later in the morning, til all the sudden it's in the afternoon?).

    Everyone has a different napping story. We're lucky to still have a 2-hr nap here in the afternoons, most days. My neighbor told me one of her kids gave up napping altogether at 18 mo. Oy.

    TV? I did at least Baby Einstein videos before 2. Ummmm. Well before 2!  

  3. # Blogger M

    WOW. Maybe she's getting ready for a big milestone? I hear their sleep can alter before that.
    As for tv...when we get up in the morning I put sesame st. on for a few minutes just so I can make myself a cup of tea and grab breakfast.
    She's not really interested in the tv though.  

  4. # Blogger Ramona

    Maybe you could BOTH watch What Not To Wear?
    Just a thought, otherwise I have no suggestions ;)  

  5. # Blogger kenju

    Uh oh, Mama, the fat lady is finished singing! Just be thankful for the morning nap and try to stretch it out as long as possible.  

  6. # Blogger Beagle

    My SIL insists that Baby Einstein is the only way a new Mom can get a shower. Those don't count as TV, right??

    Good Luck with the napping dilema.  

  7. # Blogger Damselfly

    Oh, I so relate. This is going on right now in my house, and I don't have any advice. Fly has slept eight hours *all day* including nighttime sleep and naps. He's driving me crazy. The kicker is, unlike a one-nap toddler who can do things like walk and keep busy with crafts or coloring, the under-1-year set can't do those things, so what do you do with them?!  

  8. # Anonymous sher

    I don't have any advice, except that years from now, Isabella will want that nap back when she's exhausted. Like, when she has her own child (your grandchild!).  

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