Saturday, January 21, 2012

Nap War

The only thing of any interest going on here lately is the Nap War. This involves my putting Noah in his room in an attempt to get him to rest (dare I say nap), and to have a couple of hours of peace and quiet to get some work done.

Noah does not see this time the same way that I do. He believes it is a time to (1) shove his mattress off of his bed, onto the floor, (2) act out elaborate and high volume dramas with his plethora of stuffed animals, (3) throw all of his blankets and sheets onto the floor, accompanied by a scattering of stuffed animals (those not being used in the performance, I guess), (4) see whether it is possible to jump hard enough on the floor to crash through the floor to my office (as yet unsuccessful, but he does not give up hope).

Naptime is anything but restful these days.

A couple of days ago, I made him a happy face chart with only two "sleep rules" on it. (Benjamin's had five or six; kid doesn't know how good he has it.) 1. Stay in bed. 2. Be quiet. Not so hard, right? Apparently VERY hard if you are 3 and a half. We talk about the chart, we talk about getting happy faces for following the rules, we talk about getting candy rewards for following the rules, we talk about the present he gets when he gets fills up a row of seven happy faces.

(I asked him what he thought the present should be. He said, "Pants." I said, "Pants? You want to go to the store and buy new pants?" He replied, "No, not pants from the store, pants from the house, but that are bigger." Um. Alrighty then. Frédéric says this is why he isn't motivated to follow the rules. But he chose his own present!)

All that talking is to no avail, as he remembers the rules for approximately three minutes after he goes to bed.

Today he went through his checklist above. I resorted to removing the stuffed animals from his room so he wouldn't have anyone to talk to. He found a few that I missed and started again. I removed those. He pushed his bed across the room. (Is there a way to attach his bed to the wall? Or his mattress to his bed? Or preferably both?)

The stuffed animals are all banished until he can manage to follow his two naptime rules successfully. Benjamin "helped" by stacking them all in a pile.

On the bright side, when I put him to bed at 6 pm on a non-nap day, he falls asleep about a minute and a half after I close his door, even without his two favorite stuffed animals.

I wouldn't say that makes the nap wars worth it, nor fighting with him all afternoon over his overtired behavior, but at least it brings relief a little bit earlier at the end of the day.

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