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Friday, June 6, 2008

Freaky Friday: Nap Edition

I never thought - not in a million years - that I would write about this topic. Well, I did think I would cover it at some point, but not in this quirky, role reversal way.

The Tongginator recently stopped napping. Yes, I realize that she is four and that makes me the Most Fortunate Mother in the World. I know many of you have children - somewhat evil children requiring less sleep - who stopped napping at just-turned-two.

So rest assured that I am not complaining about our New Reality.

Oh, no.

It's not me doing all of the complaining.

It's the Tongginator.

You see, the Tongginator LOVES, LOVES, LOVES to nap... almost as much as she loves to eat. She is Quite Angry about her New Reality, y'all. She's spent the last month whining, "but I'm tired and I WANT to go to sleep" and also, "Cinnamon and Spice still get to nap. Why can't I?"

It's as if I've stepped into an Alternate Reality.

At this point, you might be asking yourself why I won't allow the Tongginator to nap anymore. Well, I'll tell you, BloggyLand. The Tongginator may no longer nap because one month ago we caught her sneaking into our bedroom to watch television at 10 o'clock at night.

(Yes, we have a television in our bedroom. Yes, I am embarrassed by this fact. Please try to forget it and move on.)

After that incident, we upped our surveillance of the Tongginator's nighttime activities. How did we do that, you might ask? Well, we still have a video monitor in her bedroom, y'all. And it's not there in case she cries out in the night. It's there to help Police The Situation.

It's highly effective.

You should try it.

We learned during our week of surveillance that the Tongginator doesn't go to bed when we put her to bed. Oh, no. She stays up, playing in her room quietly so that she Doesn't Get Caught. Now, if she did this for an hour or so each evening before she shut her eyes, I wouldn't feel any angst. Unfortunately, it wasn't simply for a few hours.

She'd stay up past OUR bedtime, y'all. And probably yours, too.

I must confess: I was a little slow on the up-take. I didn't make the No Nap connection for awhile. I didn't make the connection because the Tongginator begins drooping long about one o'clock every afternoon. She LOVES her nap. She misses her nap. I am The Cruelest Mother In The World because I won't allow her to nap.

You should see the glares I receive when we are out and about.

People blast censuring looks at me when they hear me say things like, "absolutely not. You may not go to sleep this afternoon. You'll just have to try and stay awake." I also find myself saying, "Well, Cinnamon and Spice are allowed to nap, but there are different rules for different families. And, in our family, we don't nap anymore."

All the while the Tongginator piteously cries, "but I'm tired, Momma."

Yet if she naps, she then stays up well past ten o'clock every night... and rises like Suzy Sunshine at 6 AM.

Every morning.



Y'all, I just couldn't take it anymore. I'm sure I've mentioned before that I am NOT a morning person. So now we've transitioned to our little version of Freaky Friday: Nap Addition. I refuse to allow her to nap and she whines and cries about it.

I never - not in a million years - thought I would live to see this day.

But that's life with the Tongginator.

If I expect her to do one thing, she'll do just the opposite.

Just to keep me on my toes, you understand.

And so now words spew forth from my mouth I never imagined I'd say -- things like, "no, you may not nap" and "I can see you're tired, but you'll just have to stay awake."

I wonder if Barbara Harris or Jamie Lee Curtis have any advice for me...


Dawn said...

First of all, we have a tv in our bedroom, too, and I'm not embarrassed to admit it. I love getting all my kids together, making popcorn and piling into our bed to watch a movie.

As far as the naps go, I hated it when my boys stopped taking naps. I needed my kids to nap to give me a break during the day.

How long does the Tongginator nap when she naps? What if you let her take a short catnap, like 15-30 minutes? I don't know if that would help. You're right about not letting her nap if she's going to stay up really late. All I know is kids and sleeping or lack of it (whether it's naps or at night) has caused a lot of stress for a lot of families. Children and sleep isn't as natural as you would think it should be.

Good luck!

Aunt LoLo said...

Hahaha...we're guilty, too. We don't have a TV in our room here (no hookup) but we did in our old place...I used it to fill the nights when Lo Gung was out of town.

Sorry about the naps!! I hope she gets used to it soon.

Mamatini said...

Oh, Tonggu Momma, I hear you. I ceased naps for Isa when I couldn't take the pre-nap battle and the post-nap "my-daughter-has-turned-into-a-bear" routine anymore. As soon as we stopped, our afternoons were more enjoyable, and she fell asleep when her head hit the pillow at 7pm!

Now with Ina, our Tongginator, she loves her naps as much as yours does! But she's still falling asleep at night pretty well, since she's only three.

However, if she for some reason goes without a nap, and then starts to curl up in places around 4pm, I'm just like you with my, "Don't you dare fall asleep now!" Like yesterday!

Saint Louis Family Robinson said...

Sounds a lot like our house!!!!

Josie loves to sleep too ... she asks for naps! But now, at almost 3.5, if she naps too long then she isn't ready for bed at a reasonable hour. There have been a couple of nights when SHE has tucked Daddy in at bedtime and she and I have stayed up and reading.

And I'm not a morning person either! And since the time change, Josie has been up between 6 and 6:15, instead of what I was use to - 7:15! Here's the worse part: I have now started setting my alarm to make sure I'm up before her... I really can't face the morning without a cup of coffee... and I'd like to have two cups before I get hit with Josie's 'good morning' chatter! Personally I think it's a crime for a SAHM to use an alarm clock... I mean, come on, shouldn't waking up naturally be one of the perks of staying at home!!!

We were trying the no nap thing (back in early May - right before we all got deathly ill). I wasn't ready for her to give up her nap, but I wasn't ready for her to stay up until 10 or 11 either. The afternoons were difficult (her wanting a nap and me saying NO and trying to find things to keep her busy). She would be tired and fall asleep easily at 7:15... but then she was waking up at 10. Luckily she stayed in bed, and would only take about 30 minutes to go back to sleep.

She definitely needed her nap while we were sick... and so she is back on a nap schedule. But she is now napping in one of the spare bedroom on the floor in a sleeping bag - she thinks it's great. And she will only nap about an hour (instead of the 2 or 3 hours if she was in her bed)... so she usually is ready for bed by 8:30 (sometimes 9).

Janet said...

I definitely think you shouldn't give her a nap! My oldest daughter quit napping when she was 13 MONTHS OLD! But I didn't care, 'cause it meant she went to bed at a normal hour and I got to have some quiet time. Plus, she slept until 7:00, so it was all good. :-)

Briana's Mom said...

I am loving Briana's naps right now, but when it starts to affect night sleep - I will stop her napping too.

And I have a TV in my room too! No shame in that! :)

Becoming Me said...

She is a riot!

Mom to 5...Daughter of the King said...

Guilty on the tv thing, too! My three year old and four year old still nap daily. Although they are the first of my 5 to nap past the age of 2. She'll adjust quickly.

I see you link to JLCurtis. When we brought our first home from China we met her. She actually chases us through the LA airport to see her!!

Anonymous said...

Hmmm...maybe that why my little one is impossible to put down. She plays and talks and "mama, I have to go potty" for at least an hour (sometimes longer) after putting her down at night. Let us know how it works out!

Shawnstribe said...

ha!!!! i'm right there with you, naps = no early night around here too!!!!
and like you, wise women that we are.... i'm also cutting out the nap!!!
so Wise Mom's unite!!!! i will be thinking of you, as i also say to Aila Mei....very loudly, wake up sweetie, no no no sleeping : )

Gerbil said...

That girl is going to rule the world someday. We have a tv in the bedroom as well... i'd lose my mind if I had to suffer... er watch all the golf shows along with DH. I just don't want one in my kitchen or living room because my family stops interacting with each other.

But that's amazing that she was able to sneak that by you guys until she overplayed her hand by trying to watch tv.

Carla said...

Oh, yeah, I feel your pain there. Except, well, in my lucky reality my now 5.5 year old stopped his naps somewhere around 21 months. Now I have the extreme "luck" to have a child who does not nap but stays up until at least mid-night...every night.

Luckily, oh how luckily, he sleeps in. Unfortunately, Katie doesn't sleep in.


Anonymous said...

ROFL This was absolutely hysterical.

You're a great, funny writer TongguMomma. The Tongginator sounds like someone I'd LOVE to meet!