Our new nap routine consists of a kitchen timer, 9 inches of strategically placed duct tape, and an easily removable doorstop. Before you call DCFS, hear me out. I set the timer for one hour, duct tape Little-C into her diaper to avoid a repeat of “the incident,” and tell her that if she can stay in her bed until the timer beeps, she can get up, even if she hasn’t actually “slept.” Now if she gets up prematurely, then I add 10 minutes to the time. Of course this is all in hopes that she will get in her bed, be bored out of her mind and drift off before the timer goes. Sometimes it works…sometimes not so much.
But I’m a smart one and I’ve come to notice a pattern – the only way Little-C will sleep during the day is if she can bawl her brains out for 30-120 seconds (that’s how long it takes her to fall asleep once she starts crying). I can’t bring myself to “make” her cry but I’m somewhat relieved when she does. This may seem harsh but if I don’t find a way to get her down for a nap, she finds a way of sucking the joy from herself and everyone else in the family for the rest of the day. And she’s just so great to be around when she’s well rested.
She has to do it for herself and on those magical days, everyone rejoices. Today for example, she was rolling around in her bed in a state of bliss and chatter when she bonked her head lightly on the headboard. She started wailing. I rushed in to comfort her and within 2 minutes she was out like a light. Other days when she’s gotten out of bed so many times that she’ll be in bed as long as sleeping beauty if I don’t do something drastic, I tell her that if she gets up one more time, I’m closing her door. Of course she gets up again, I shut the door on her fully unscary and sunlit room, she screams like her arm is being cut off, “NO, please. MOMMY DON’T DOOOO THIS,” and then falls almost immediately to sleep. She wakes up happy. We are all happy. Am I just the meanest mom ever? Maybe my new hair color is tainting my personality.