Toddler naps: A Roller Coaster ride

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This parenting journey is never a steady one. Drug addicts enjoy more stability on a day to day basis. The week is full of dizzy highs, and agonising lows. You never know which is around the next bend. You have an unexpectedly good day with your child when everything seems like it just might work out. The future looks shiny and bright, filled with harmony, hope and possibility. Then you crash back to reality with a day/night from hell. Often it’s just one small thing that the whole day hinges on. That butterfly innocently flapping its wings frantically. Catastrophic effects.

 

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I’ve a 14 month old who reasonably consistently takes a 1.5-2 hour nap each day now at some point. Two hours is the optimal length to prevent the usual witching hour before bed extending into an afternoon of such antics followed by a particularly unsettled night. I rely on this nap. I COUNT on it. It’s not a luxury, it’s a necessity. Especially this time of year in the dreary, dark, wet days that stick and drag on their way to completion. If we don’t have plans to leave the house and the weather isn’t encouraging us out for fresh air, then it’s going to be an extra long weary day. On those mornings all I want is to crawl back into bed as soon as possible and snuggle up to a small, relaxed body that’s already slumbering. I did a stupid thing today. I decided that I shouldn’t waste the opportunity to have some peace and quiet to Get Things Done. I made a deal with myself. Do an hour of all that work that’s piling up, then catch a lovely nap that would give me the boost that caffeine and chocolate weren’t, and keep me going the rest of the day.

You already know what happened, right? A one hour and three minute nap. Nooooooooo! I spent another half hour feeding and rocking to no avail despite all the sleepy yawns. So it was another dull meandering afternoon with me at dangerously low energy levels.  Not very well equipped to deal with an overtired, hyperactive toddler hanging out of me.  That’s when he wasn’t randomly launching himself at me, or a dangerous object in the vicinity. Oh summer sun, how I miss your cheering presence on these colourless days…

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