I did something rather out of character today.
I deliberately skipped the nap for both kids.
I know, I know. Pick your jaws up off the floor. But I have come to a few very, very sad realizations.
1. My kids can handle a day without a nap. Not every time, of course. But today, along with some other days we’ve had, they have gotten through more or less until bedtime without a complete meltdown.
2. On the days that they do nap (which is still every day for Rebecca, maybe 3-5 times a week for Daniel), it takes them much longer to fall asleep at night. Long gone are the days of “sleep begets sleep” that I swore by in the infant days, when a better nap meant even better overnight sleep. Nope, no more. This has been the case for a while, but it hasn’t been problematic until recently, when the miscellaneous requests for water, backrubs, rearranged blankets, and the like, have gotten a bit out of hand. Not total chaos, but definitely prolonged stalling. There are nights when one or both of them is still awake at 9:30 or even 10, which is entirely too late, even if they are staying in their rooms. The days with no nap, however? Asleep within minutes of finishing the final song.
Tonight, I really needed them to fall asleep right away. I couldn’t risk marathon naps from either of them this afternoon. So, instead of going home after school, we went to the mall for lunch and playing. Came home and watched a TV show. Hung out and played. Rebecca briefly talked about being sleepy as we left the mall, but stayed awake in the car and seemed to catch a second wind after a little Super Why. I never spoke of napping or the skipping thereof, I just kind of pretended it wasn’t happening. I didn’t want to even introduce it as a topic of conversation. We had an early-ish dinner, and early-ish bedtime, and that was that. They were fine.
Sad and Glad, all at the same time.
Sad to realize that the afternoon nap is, indeed, on its way out for good. This is a huge bummer. While the kids did fine this afternoon, I was the one getting kind of cranky and wanting that break. Glad, of course, because at least they were able to handle it without turning into total beasts by 4PM.
Nearing the end of an era. Dammit.