March 28, 2011

Nap Time- Otherwise Known As, That Which Keeps Me Sane

DD being ridiculous... ridiculously EXHAUSTING!
I'm not proud, I'll admit it.  I NEED my children to take a nice, long nap during the day.  I NEED to have a few hours in the middle of the afternoon to do (or procrastinate doing) my homework, drink a cup of tea, and generally chillax.  I NEED our regularly scheduled nap time, just as much as my children.  Without a nap, they reach the end of the day hysterical and miserable, and I am RIGHT there with them.

That said, nap time hasn't been going so well lately.

Of course I'd like to blame Grandma.  She was here for a week, she was so happy to go in to that room and comfort anyone acting too crazy.  She was all too willing.  But that's not fair.  It's not Grandma's fault.

SI's silliness makes me tired.
I'd like to blame SI.  It was that damned Roseola she got, it totally screwed up her routine, and DD's just going along for the nap-free ride.  But that's not fair either.  It's not SI's fault.

The reason they aren't napping is that they are having too much fun.  In short, my twin daughters are best friends, and like most little girls sharing a room with their best friend, they would much rather play than sleep.

Nap time used to be elegant in its simplicity.  I would change diapers, read a story, tuck the girls into their quilts that Aunt Genocide made, make sure they had their frog loveys, and turn on a lullabye CD.  Then I would leave the room.

And my children would nap for about 150 minutes.  Up to two and a half glorious hours.  It was magical- like a fairy tale.  Despite how much I love playing with my kids, it may have been my favorite time of day.

Now?  I change diapers.  I read a story.  I tuck the girls in with their quilts and frogs.  I turn on the lullabyes and leave the room.

DD says: "It's not nap time, it's time to point at birds..."
And the next hour is filled with the sound of raucous laughter.

I go in every twenty minutes or so, re-tuck (this is now a HILARIOUS game according to DD), and tell everyone to be quiet and go to sleep.

This does not work.

This last week, the only thing that can be done is to rock the girls to sleep.  Something that, while very sweet, we haven't needed to do in about nine months.  And they're a hell of a lot bigger now.  I absolutely cannot rock both girls to sleep at once.  It's physically impossible.  First of all, they're made out of knees.  Knees and elbow.  Second of all, the moment they see each other sharing my lap, they realize that they are SO MUCH CLOSER together than they were in their cribs, and much more fun can be had this way.  Even getting poked in the eye is funny if you're sharing SuperMommy's lap.

SI would rather drive than sleep
Therefore, I rock them one at a time.  I throw the quilt OVER DD's head, and rock her to sleep while SI- a mere 18 inches away from the glider, shouts, screams, laughs, and calls DD's name (which coming from SI sounds an awful lot liek DaDa) over and over again.  Then I put DD in her crib, snoring peacefully, and start the awkward attempts at rocking SI to sleep- now wired from the effort of trying to figure out what the hell happened to her best friend.

It's not that they're not tired, either.  There's constant yawning through the play, there are occasional pauses where everyone lays down and NEARLY falls asleep.  If SI is particularly exhausted, she might even actually pass out during one of these.  Then DD wakes her up by chucking a toy or blanket at her head (once she even pulled the sheet off her crib for this purpose) and after a few seconds of angry sounds the game is BACK ON!

I have not been taking this turn of events gracefully.  I have shouted, I have practically thrown my children into their cribs (they find this very funny), I have taken away toys, I have cranked up the volume on the white noise, I have begged, and I have been extremely rude to M when he's around for this charade.  In short, I have acted like somebody who's really in need of a nap.
DD says, don't sleep!  Be a buckethead!

Now this is not productive behavior.  I don't know why it is that my children's mirthful determination not to nap can incite such rage in me, but it does.  I am absolutely beside myself with frustration and exhaustion about half an hour into this ridiculous routine.  I'm ready to slam doors and throw cold and un-drunk cups of tea through panes of glass.

And I'm not always good at turning off my ire and playing the Zen Master.

It used to be like clockwork- regardless of what time they got up, by 12:30 my daughters were passing out where they stood.  If we were at a restaurant, or watching cartoons, or in the car... id didn't matter.  I'd see my kids yawning, their eyes drooping, and say to myself, "Gosh!  It must be 12:30!"  And it was.  M and I used to struggle to keep SI awake until we got home if we were driving, lest we wake her to put her in her crib before the magic of the required nap had done its work.

Now?  I've been getting them to pass out at what used to be wake-up time.  Instead of waking up lazily and happily, they wake up totally pissed about having slept through a meal.  It's painful.  But at least they're enjoying themselves.

Me?  I just need a nap.
Seriously, though- who could stay mad at that face?

Still, no matter how much I want to throttle them when I'm futilely rocking a child who is laughing uproariously while poking my nose, pulling my hair, stealing my glasses, or sticking her fingers in my ear...

Once they're asleep, and I'm holding their tiny, unconscious bodies in my arms, looking at their gorgeous eyelashes and marveling at how soft the skin of their squishy cheeks are; once it's peaceful and quiet, and the laughter has stopped and a truncated nap is beginning, it's like the first time I ever held them all over again.  I fall in love with those beautiful faces and sweet, sleepy breathing soudns every time.

And then I feel like a giant jerk.

...a giant jerk that needs a cup of tea and a time out.  And maybe a nap.


  1. Happy i found you on MBC. Please stop by my blog.
    Your newest follower-Lioness

  2. Oh Supermommy,
    You described my entire summer four summers ago. The middle of our three children was 4 at the time and still very much in need of a daily nap. Her 1-year-old sister was napping beautifully and her 6-year-old brother was happy to read for my much needed hour-long break. Middle Sprout REFUSED to sleep and eventually refused to even rest quietly. I have never been so completely frustrated, overwhelmed and exhausted. I couldn't make a miraculous change, but I kept working at ignoring her, breathing deeply and praying lots. She outgrew it...we survived, and I have nothing but heartfelt support for you as you tredge through this stage. It is just a stage, so hang in there!!

  3. "I'm ready to slam doors and throw cold and un-drunk cups of tea through panes of glass."

    Ha! I'm glad I'm not the only one who gets like that. We still have mandatory quiet time. As in "I don't care what you're doing in your room as long as it's quiet!" I need that time so I can function again.

  4. I remember those days all too well. It'll pass and then they won't take naps at all and by the end of the day you may or may not be reduced to tears and thoughts of running away or hiding in a closet. But the one thing you won't ever get back is looking at them sleeping sweetly in your lap because by that time they're "big kids".
    kelli s. rodin (from shewriteS)

  5. Virginia, I do the same thing at my house. I have an 8yr old and 3yr old twins. Quiet time is mandatory. They usually end up passing out.

    Supermommy, hw dark is their room where they nap? It is just a phase, but a very annoying one if I must say. I use some curtains I found in Walmart called eclipse. Those curtains in conjunction with the mini blinds that were already there, makes the room look like it's actually night time. This makes naptime a lot easier and the kids fall asleep a lot faster. Good luck and no you're not alone!

  6. LOL - looks like YOU'RE the one who needs a nap! You really have your hands full, don't you!

    I’m a new follower from the hop, which is found on a page on my site that lists more than 250 hops, memes, and photo challenges… some for each day of the week. Check under the header for the link to that page. I’ve also just started a BlogFrog community that focuses on hops, carnivals, memes, and photo challenges. Go to to visit & participate.
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  7. Start as you mean to go on. Sometimes they are rough times, but if you want your girls to sleep by her own be consistent. Maybe is a hard week or two but when they outgrow this phase they will know how to sleep.

  8. I'm a new follower! :) Can't wait to get to know you better!

  9. I don't have twins but I know what you mean. My girls are 14 months apart and when they were 2 and 3 they went through a stage exactly like this. They WERE tired and did need a nap but acted as silly as possible to keep themselves awake. They are fighting the nap. I don't remember if I did anything to help or if they just outgrew it. Hang in there.



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