A long time ago, circa 2010 I had a 2 year old who acted a lot like someone you might want to put in a permanent straight jacket. After some pretty intense discipline tactic attempts which completely failed, I looked elsewhere for answers. Other moms.
And I got one resounding answer. Longer naptime. Your child is walking zombie. Those bags under her eyes are not permanent. She hated naps and sleeping in general and we thought we were just screwed for life when it came to Davy+sleep. She was two years old and although extremely tired, somedays she didn't take a nap. The transition from one to two bumpkins had unfortunately suffocated Davy's precious nap.
As sick as you might think this is...we used to let her cry it out in her room until she passed out from exhaustion. Sometimes we found her on the floor. Don't be alarmed. She doesn't appear to be permanently scarred. That was before baby Gia-bear. And since she transitioned into a bed, via expert crib jumping techniques, at the ripe old age of 19 months, we thought we had little choice. Looking back, there were probably more humane options involving a lot of velcro, but that is beside the point.
Survival is the point. And since we (by 'we' I mean me) had accidentally murdered her nap because I cared more about the infant sleeping/ less toddler screaming than naptime, we found ourselves in a horrible place.
I'm sure you've seen a kid at the grocery store completely loosing it late at night, or midday or anytime really. Statistically I would bet 90% of those children are super exhausted. I only say this based on my own mom emperical research with my wild child.
Let me show you what I've found:
Meet Davy on no Nap
"AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! I'm angry and I don't know why. I push Gianna because for now I am bigger than her and I like the sound when she falls. I go in the bathroom incessantly to play and do naughty things and tell my mom I have to go potty. Then I do things like climb on the vanity and steal Mommy and Daddy's toothbrushes and turn them into my own science experiment. I will not listen to anyone and scream NO like it's my job. When my mom tells me it's time to leave my friend's house I turn into something that most resembles a dragon and will use whatever physical ability I have to remain in said house. It isn't pretty. I kick and flail and go limp and there is lots of screaming. My favorite phrase is, "DONT SAY NO TO ME MOMMY!"
Meet Davy on a Nap
"Hi, I'm Davy! I run the show around here and I run laps around the living room. I jump because I can. I love to play in the dirt outside. I talk nonstop and I play with many many things around the home which were definitely not intended to be played with. I love my mom and my dad and I pretend to listen to them occasionally. But when they turn their back I am known to resume negative behavior. I play with Gianna. I do take away whatever she has in her tiny hands because it looks so awesome when she has it. But I usually present her with a peace offering upon the removal. When leaving a friend's house I am easily convinced to go to the car with some sort of bribe like fruit snacks and I leave with little drama. My favorite phrase is, "Don't say no to me Mommy."
See the difference? She is still crazy on a Nap, but with no nap, I fear our family's safety.
So now for a while I have had a new system:
When Gianna naps in the afternoon, I literally hold Davy down on the couch and sometimes fall asleep with her until we both wake up to a little "mama. mama. mama. mama. maaaaaamaaaaaaa," coming from the nursery.
So even though I used to have cleaning fantasies that I imagined would be played out during naptime. This is not realistic at this point. A non-dragon child is much better than a clean house. That's what I think.
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