My twins have stopped napping. And I’m a little bit gutted about it.
I’ve reached that moment all mums with young children don’t want to get to. When your child stops napping. And you realise they’re not a baby anymore.
Although out of the last two statements, I’m actually more disappointed about the napping thing than the no longer a baby thing.
I’m sure a whole load of people will regale me with tales of how THEIR children never napped at all, or gave up when they were only a year old, or was it six months? Maybe three weeks. Or some such woe is me story. And well, you can almost guess what I’d say to that…
I love napping
Oh how I loved the twins napping. They were bloody good at it too. And I’m going to take credit for that little nugget. In those hideous early days when they were just a few months old and I had three boys under 2.5, I worked my ass off to instil a good nap routine.
It took a while but I nailed it. To a point where I could just put my twins into their cot, walk out the door and they’d fall asleep. Or in the last year call out ‘nap time’ in a Mary Poppins-esque voice (very unlike me, I admit) and they’d happily toddle off up the stairs by themselves and wait patiently at the side of their cots ready for an afternoon of napping.
And what a lovely sleep it was. Minimum of two hours. Maximum of three if I’d let them. They’d be able to sleep past that dreaded “no child on the pain of death must sleep beyond 3pm or they’ll spontaneously combust” time, and still go to bed fine in the evening.
Thinking back through blurred memories of the first six months, I even managed to get ALL THREE boys napping at the same time. Bloody hell I was nailing this parenting shit back then!
Great at napping, crap at sleeping all night
The twins became very skilled at napping. But never quite transferred those skills to night time sleeping, at which they are rather shit. Still. And no, the naps make no difference. Funnily enough I have actually thought of that.
If they napped for an hour (or even 15 minutes), they didn’t sleep all night. If they napped for three hours, they didn’t sleep all night. And if they didn’t nap at all, they STILL didn’t sleep all night. This is my life.
So considering I spent so much time with them in the night, (don’t even talk to me about co-sleeping) I was MORE than happy to be without them for a couple of hours during the day whilst they napped.
Napping makes everything easier
And doesn’t your child napping make the day so much EASIER? Some days it would feel like you only had to parent until just after lunch. ‘Get through’ until naptime and the day was pretty much done and dusted after you woke them up. Hour left before teatime and then, woohoo, off to bed again!
I do love my children. Honestly. Really.
Naps were also a chance for me to spend time with the four year old (before he started school). Or in the last term when I’ve actually had the whole of naptime to MYSELF, to do a bit of work, catch up on jobs, mindlessly scroll through facebook and Instagram. You know, all the important stuff.
But now it is no more. Fuck A Duck.
I’ve clearly jinxed it by telling friends I wanted to get through until Christmas before they stopped napping. That would mean I’d have a whole term of the four year old being at school, and the twins napping, giving me the precious gift of time. Time with no shouting, screaming, dirty nappies, or hearing Mummmmeeeee 3,872 times an hour.
The demise of napping
So obviously they stopped napping slap bang on Christmas. It’s like they KNEW. And I was so bloody careful too, having made the mistake of letting the eldest out of routine two years previously, resulting in the general shitshow that is the demise of the naps.
And that’s basically where we are now. The demise of the naps shitshow.
It’s like a battle of wills between them and I. I still want them to nap. They don’t want to.
I still put them in their cots hoping they will sleep. They basically stick two fingers up at me.
And demonstrate their extreme displeasure at the whole situation by trashing the place. They throw all their teddies out onto the floor, then their pillows, duvets, and whatever other crap they’ve been hoarding in their cots. Toy tractors, plastic screwdrivers, fridge magnets, jigsaw pieces. Those painted pebbles you find at National Trust places and didn’t quite get round to hiding again because the resulting toddler tantrum was too much to bear.
Seriously, where the fuck does it all come from? And how do they smuggle it all into their cots? Thank God they’re not newborns anymore – those parenting experts would be having a bloody field day with me!
Last week Twin One even stripped the entire sheet and mattress protector, then took his own nappy off, as if threatening me – ‘get me up or the mattress is going to get it’.
The twins are seriously tired
They’ve now started preschool for two days a week so are seriously tired but obviously aren’t napping on those days.
Oh apart from last Tuesday when I picked them up to find Twin Two had been napping in the corner for the LAST HOUR!! I had to wake him up! And he’s got the cheek to not nap at home???
On a Wednesday morning at my parents’ they’ve been falling asleep at the drop of a hat in the car. Or on the school run. And last weekend they both fell asleep on the settee snuggled in. Which I have to say was proper cute.
These are the children that don’t want to nap anymore. Apparently.
So on a Thursday and Friday I’m determined to still attempt a nap. They are stupidly tired and can barely last until bedtime (not to mention how they turn into little shits by 4pm because they’re exhausted).
A change of tact in an attempt to continue naptime
A change in tact has been necessary. They no longer respond to my (quite frankly cringeworthy) Mary Poppins’ singsongy voice and eagerly skip up the stairs. Nope. Those glory days are gone. How the mighty have fallen.
I now have to pretend they’re going for a ‘rest’, so they have lots of energy for swimming with Grandad the next day. They’re all about Granny and Grandad, so this is basically the only card I’ve got left. I’m that desperate.
It just so happens the ‘rest’ takes place in their cots. I let them take some books to bed, some toys and I leave the blinds up so it’s still daylight. Nothing nap-like about the whole damn charade. Honest.
Then I leave them to it and wait. The first 10 minutes all hell breaks loose. Everything gets chucked across the room. I put it all back in, and once they realise I’m not backing down, they start joining forces, singing at the tops of their voices, shouting to each other, laughing and giggling. I’m sure in the hope I’ll give in and get them up.
Victory! (Kind of)
Then after about half an hour they start to quieten down and look at the books I’ve left for them. Still chatting away to each other but more quietly. Then it goes silent from one side of the room. Twin Two has given in and is snoring. Victory!
But I daren’t go in and check because Twin One still has his beady eyes open ready to kick off the second he sees me.
I leave him to it, hopeful he’ll give in like his brother. Another half an hour could pass (but that’s okay, I’m down the landing on facebook), and Twin One’s chatter has stopped.
So like some kind of long lens photographer on a David Attenborough nature programme, I wait. Hiding behind the slightly opened door, trying to peek through the crack between the door and the frame.
Eventually – BINGO! Twin One finally surrenders and drops off too. I am DELIGHTED my new tact has paid off. Go and try it my friends, it is pure genius.
Or not, actually.
Time for me to deal with it
Who am I trying to kid? That’s worked once. ONCE in the last three weeks. The rest of the time they point blank refuse to sleep, and end up whinging so much I give in.
So it’s probably time I accept my twins have stopped napping, finally get round to putting them in big boy beds, and deal with it, right?
Wish me luck. I’m going to need it.
How did I do?
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