The eight stages of failing to get my baby to go for a nap
Am I the only parent who feels a sense of achievement anytime I ever manage to get The Child to nap?
I have long since made peace with my so-called "bad" sleeper; I no longer get an angry eye twitch when a random stranger asks me "if he's good?" presumably meaning "does he sleep?"; I think I could survive on 2-3 wake ups a night for the rest of my life and be totally fine with that. However, I still get strangely fixated on The Nap or more specifically his NOT napping.
8 stages of failing to get The Child to go for a nap:
Stage 1: Nap Negotiations
The Child has been awake for close to eight hours now and I'm starting to get tense. Surely he must be getting tired OR... more and more wound up with every passing minute (I have a mortal fear of overtiredness setting in). "Do you want a little sleep?" I ask hopefully. "NO," comes his stubborn little reply. Why did we ever teach him that word?
Stage 2: Mother's Bribe
The Child is literally bouncing off the walls, time for a little bribery. A bottle of milk is incentive enough to get him up the stairs and into the cot. Just about. For a few hope-filled minutes he appears to settle down. I dare to dream... maybe today will be different, maybe today he will nap.
Stage 3: I Fought the Baby and the Baby Won
The optimism is short-lived. I sit in the kitchen and listen to what sounds like a small horse galloping around in the cot upstairs. He is not winding down remotely. It sounds more like he is employing a battering ram to escape the cot.
Stage 4: Baby-faced Tyrant
I go up to give him a back rub and sshhhhh him to sleep. He takes this as his cue to stand in the cot shouting "out, out, OUT." I am losing this battle badly right now.
Stage 5: A Losing Rattle
More bribery, toys for him and three chocolate biscuits for me to soften the blow of imminent defeat. The toys are not appeasing him in the slightest. I sit on the stairs and listen as he systematically flings them one by one out of the cot. The "Muma" refrain begins in earnest.
Stage 6: This Charming (Mini) Man
It's at this point that he really turns on the charm. Intense baby-flirting begins to break down my reserves of strictness. Babies who don't want to nap are the most flirtatious, cute, irresistible little beings of all time. Just try to withstand their onslaught of adorableness and arsenal of cute baby gurgles.
Stage 7: Concede defeat
It's over. I lost. The Child is now dancing on my face as I try to have a nap myself on the couch. When they get the better of us the only thing for it is to... finish the biscuits.
Stage 8: Nap Trapped
Here's where they get the ULTIMATE last laugh. After the hour-long failed nap stand-off they will later go to sleep at the most inopportune moment possible, like in the car when you just needed to pop to the shop for five seconds. #naptrapped
What are nap negotiations like in YOUR house? Let us know in the comments...