I have a dear friend who finds acronyms particularly hilarious, so I’d like to start this post with a giant
We are leaving for Idaho to visit the grandparents tomorrow and have I packed one single item for the trip? No. Have I folded clean laundry from several days ago which has accumulated in a gruesome pile at the foot of our bed? No.
What, pray tell, have you been doing then, Jaime? That’s an excellent question, beloved reader. Try this on for size: Seabass has stopped napping. YEAH.
It all started about three weeks ago with a missed nap here and a missed nap there. Pretty soon, there were two missed naps right on top of each other, and then three. And then Seabass’ name changed to Mr. No-Nap-Grumpy-Pants and I had to up my dosage of antidepressants, just to make mental ends meet.
Fellow mothers, I ask you: Is there anything more glorious, more necessary to sustaining sanity, more indulgent, and more downright expected than an afternoon nap from a toddler??? Because the world takes all types of kids, I know that some of you will say your child has never taken naps, or doesn’t need a nap, or whatever. But for the rest of us – the vast majority of us – getting a nap from our kids feels as good as a deep tissue massage or glass of wine. My friend Ginger calls it her chance to “smooth out the wrinkles in my mind.” I have really clung to that description.
Especially, now that the naps are fewer and farther between. Oh, and that’s not all: the nighttime sleep is a mess too. One night, in the middle of a screamfest at 3am, Jake rolled over and groaned, “Email the consultant. I don’t care what it costs. Just get answers from her.”
I wish I could say that the consultant solved all of Seabass’ sleep problems, that I have had a good night’s rest and a couple hours of smooth-brain-time every day ever since. But no. Much as I love Deb the sleep consultant, her advice hasn’t quite panned out. The fact that child sleep is a cycle in which bad nighttime sleeps infects the daytime sleep and vice-versa has become like a torturous SAT question that has no right answer. If I put Seabass to bed at 5pm (the earliest recommended time for seriously sleep-deprived kiddos), he wakes up at 5:30am, if not before. Then he’s exhausted by late morning, but I can’t put him down at 11am because then he’ll wake up at 1:30pm, which means bedtime has to be 5pm again, and then we’re back to square one. So I do what Deb strongly recommends against, which is I kept Seabass up after a 5:30am wake-up time until noon, at which point he overtired and only slept for an hour and a half, and was back up and at ’em at 1:30pm. Then I tried to extend his wake time some more to “wear him out” and didn’t put him down until 6:30pm. Then he overtired again and woke throughout the night before permanently getting up at – what else? – FREAKING 5:30am.
Look. I know how boring that last paragraph was, ok? I’m bored just typing it. But these are the kinds of thoughts I have to think when Seabass isn’t sleeping well because it affects every fiber of my being. Even if I leave him in his crib and shut the door during supposed “nap time” (i.e. he’s wide awake), even if he’s happy and cooing in there, I can’t relax. I can’t get work done. I can’t take the edge off. You may be thinking, So what if he’s awake? Just let him be and do your own thing.
That’s good advice, except…if you are thinking that, I know you’re not a mother, because every mother understands that unless their child is asleep and dancing through dreamland, there is no shutting off. It’s like a curse.
He’s asleep now, which is why there is anything of value to read on this post.