Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Nap Wars

Spe has outgrown naps. It was sad and I thought I might kill him for a while, but we pulled through and I'm used to having this little ball of energy that runs through my house all day long. But some days he's clearly exhausted and I insist on a nap.

This quickly escalates into a nap war.

A nap war, for those of you who don't know, is no holds barred. My arsenal consists of mainly time passing, and sharp reminders to "Close your eyes! Go to sleep! Don't jump off the bed!" Spe's arsenal is much more complicated and seems to revolve around lots of movement (jumping, rolling, bouncing, etc.), lots of talking (screaming, whispering, laughing, crying, whimpering, etc.), and lots of "needs" (bathroom breaks, water breaks, secrets that must be shared, jokes that must be told, etc.)

Today was no exception. We played Cariboo first, because I usually warn him about the impending nap by cushioning it after something that he really loves ("After we have this big bar of chocolate, then we're going to take a nap. What are we going to do after this BIG BAR OF CHOCOLATE?").

Spe hopped into bed (mine, because he prefers to nap in my bed, although he could fall out at any moment) and within seconds was rolling, bouncing and flailing as expected.

"Spe! Lay still and go to sleep, please."

Spe looks at me sadly, "But Mama, I bein' a croc'dile."

He has not yet learned how futile that excuse is. However, he calms down a little bit, but then reaches over and starts petting my face.

"'Dese are your eyes. And your eyebrows. 'Dese are your ears. Here's your hair." (With the hair his hands do a movement a little bit like a nuclear mushroom cloud explosion. I'm thinking maybe I should have done my hair today?)

"Spe," I say more gently, touched by his sweetness, "Please lay down and go to sleep. I love you."

He lays there for a moment. Then he puts a proprietary arm over my chest, to make sure that I don't leave while he's sleeping. I know that's the reason because that's what I used to do when my mom would lay down with me. There's nothing worse than waking up and realizing that you're on your own in this nap business.

I start inhaling and exhaling deeply, hoping that he will be lulled to sleep by my rhythmic breathing. He imitates me, sounding remarkably like Darth Vader. I'm thinking maybe I need an inhaler or something? The only effect that the breathing has is that it makes me sleepy.

Then Spe starts whispering. Today it sounded something like this, "I be Superman and then I fly and then I save Super Violet and then I be a crocodile and then I eat Super Violet." This isn't so bad during nap time, but when he crawls into bed at 6:00 in the morning and starts up with the whispering, his dad is none too impressed.

I wait. I start counting how long between each movement. If I can get to twenty without him moving, it's a pretty good bet that he's asleep.

1, 2, 3, (oh, he just kicked me, start over) 1, (roll over) 1, 2 (growls like a bear), 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, (sits up and looks at me and says, "I not tired, Mama!") 1, (turns head), 1, 2, 3, (scratches head), 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, (almost there! ish) 8, (turns head, drat!), 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 . . .

At about this point I fall asleep. Eventually he does too. I always have a goal to get him to sleep and then go and clean ferociously, but I usually end up falling asleep right along with him.

Someone has to keep him from rolling off the bed.

***Right. I've just reread this post and it's crap. But I feel so happy to have blogged two times in the same week that I'm going to let it slide. Bear with me, please. I'll be bringing some crazy back to you soon.


Corrine said...

oh nap wars!!! we have bed time wars around here, and I just have to say "Mean mom is coming" and they usually go running back to their bed :)

Kelley said...

Who knew that I'm not the only one who does the deep inhale/exhale thing to lull a child to sleep?!! I'm also a big fan of the counting to 20. Your posts are hilarious and brighten my days! I want to meet your babies someday. They sound perfect.

Aluguel de Computadores said...

Hello. This post is likeable, and your blog is very interesting, congratulations :-). I will add in my blogroll =). If possible gives a last there on my blog, it is about the Aluguel de Computadores, I hope you enjoy. The address is A hug.

The Holcombs said...

actually I rather enjoyed it. see I go through this with jaden lately. except it is in his crib and he wants me to stay and fall asleep with him (laying by him on a bed or the floor)I usually do too and beat him to the punch. well i will enjoy it while i can, while i only have one and naptimes still exist!

Yvonne said...

How can you call a post like that "crap"--I thought it was great. Love the breathing like Darth Vader comment ; )

Julia said...

I loved that post! You had me laughing (which is my requirement to be a dedicated blog reader :)
Nap wars are the worst! I did this same exact routine with my two older. I used to physically hold my son down, knowing if I could stop his body movement for long enough he would fall asleep. So our naps wars were akin to wrestling in my bed. My daughter would fall asleep the minute her head would hit the pillow, but wake up the second I moved off the bed.
This is mother torture, in my opinion.

Jen said...

Love it. That post speaks to me for sure. At naptime my baby girl keeps taking all the clothes out of her dresser and all of her blankets and piling them on her bed. Then she knocks on her door and sings to herself for about half an hour until she falls asleep and takes her nap on the floor. I don't know what I'll do if she ever grows tall enough to open her own door...

Carol said...

Love, Eli gave up napping at birth, it was always a battle and by 15 months he was no longer napping at all!!!!!!!! But on the bright side he's a terrific night sleeper so I shouldn't complain. But some days I yearn for a family nap almost more than I yearn for caffeine!

Celia and Scott said...

Hey! You know alugel de computadores too?!? That's weird!

Do not let Spe get a hold of Henry and corrupt him into thinking naps are unnecessary! I'm keeping my death-like grip on Henry's naptime -- 3 1/2 and still a not-so-happy-about-it-but-still-a- daily napper! Woo hoo!

Queen Elizabeth said...

All I know is that losing nap wars turns me into a MONSTER.

AMY said...

I am also mourning the loss of confinement and no naps with Addisyn. How come you haven't accepted my blog invite eh?

marisa said...

That is not CRAP at all...because I oh so understand your pain in the nap wars! The worst though is when we have to get in the car late in the afternoon and then she decides to nap, and then there is no peace at home until at least 11pm!

mhuff said...

1. I fear the end of naps.
2. Perhaps you should consider lowering your blogging standards if this is "crap." Just a completely unselfish thought that has nothing to do with my desire to have new Hadleyesque posts as often as possible.

Jill said...

My (almost) three year old decided last fall that he was too cool for naps.
Sometimes, if the humidity is just right, and the planets are perfectly aligned, the day is warm, and there is soft music playing on the radio, he will fall asleep in the car, and I can put him in his bed for a good nap.
Or, I can leave him home with someone else (his Dad, his grandma, his older brother......) and he will lay down on the floor and fall asleep.
He never does that for me.

Sara said...

You just perfectly described my kids napping experience...and so much better than I would have!

Brooke said...

This is not crap! I loved it because I also do the counting and the falling asleep. What's bad is that I usually fall asleep BEFORE he does!!!!! UGGGHHHH!!!

(I'm very intimidated that you are an English teacher. If I have spelled anything wrong or used improper grammer I am very sorry! HA!)