Saturday, November 2, 2013

The Day Nap: Cave Boy vs Party Girl

This is bound to happen. One will continue enjoy napping while the other will cease napping. I know this day will come at some point, permanently.
They used to nap together in their room until they turned 18 months. One was waking up much earlier than the other and because they are still in their cots, the one who wakes up earlier tends to scream or call out for me very loudly hence waking up the other. The child I am referring to is my daughter.
I would watch the clock like a hawk and literally stand next to their door when 45 minutes has passed because inevitably, she would stir and I would open/rush into their room as quickly and quietly as possible to scoop her out and close the door as quickly and quietly as possible. Then I would deposit her next to me on our bed - she usually goes back to sleep soon after with me next to her. That's when I breathed a sigh of relief and caught a break myself, finally.
This practice went on for 4 months. Yes, 4 months. Though I am impatient by nature, I am also a very persistent person. Go figure.
I finally gave in when they turned 18 months. They sleep in separate bedrooms during the day and it works very well. They will nap for at least 2 hours and I enjoy good quality rest too. Yes, I no longer run around like a headless chicken doing housework when they nap. I crash when they crash. Win-win.
Recently, I have noticed that Charlotte has taken to dropping her day nap (not often) without adverse effects. This might happen once every 3 - 4 weeks so I cannot officially say that she no longer needs her day nap. Though it is taking her longer and longer to wind down and self-settle into napping during the day so I know it is coming soon.
It was another typical Wednesday with the kids at home. Daniel happily runs towards his bedroom while holding my hands and shouts "Night Night, Charlotte!" very gleefully. He's a great kid to put to bed - he is happy and loves his nap.
Charlotte comes with me into our bed where she lies on her pillow next to me with her favourite plush. Usually, she sings to herself quietly for 5 minutes and drifts off to sleep without fussing and that's when I sleep too. Well, not on this day.
She was quiet and lay still in our darkened bedroom - she sang songs softly to herself, rolled gently from side to side every few minutes, hugged her plush and that went on for 1 hour. Clearly, she wasn't going to nap and she wasn't cranky. She confirmed my observations when asked so she went into the study with me while I worked for the next hour.
She's also a great kid and played on the floor next to me as well as under the study table as I replied to 55 emails over the course of the hour and did not interrupt me once. After I was done, I rewarded her with her favourite TV show and she danced happily away.
All that time, Daniel was happily napping away. I was very envious and also delighted that my children are such wonderful and happy individuals.
When Daniel woke, we had a lovely afternoon and a few friends dropped by in between and they were very well behaved. In fact, they were colouring and playing with each other quietly without interrupting me for the 1.5 hours when my friends were chatting with me.
I was amaze and relief that Charlotte wasn't cranky. She assured me through her behaviour that it is OK for her to not nap when she does not require one so long as I ensure that she gets at least an hour of quiet time in a darkened room to just rest and be still.


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