The 5 Stages of a Toddler Refusing to Nap
This is the honeymoon stage of the nap strike. You’re still full of hope; you genuinely believe that you’ll get to take that nap you were counting on, or that you’ll absolutely get through the This is Us episode you DVR’d, or that you will be able to make that uninterrupted business call like the professional you are. When you hear those cries 15 minutes after you put him down for his afternoon siesta, you think Oh, just give him a minute.
At this point, he’s been crying on and off for however long you deem acceptable for a child to cry without causing future psychological damage. And rather than tapping into your tender mother heart, you’re pissed. You’re pissed that you let him fall asleep in the car this morning on the way to the grocery store. You’re pissed that your friends have toddlers who nap. You’re pissed at the dog breathing too loudly. You’re pissed about that weird thing you said two weeks ago to that stranger, because that was embarrassing. Obviously, none of those things would matter and life would be blissful if your toddler would just nap.
With God, with the universe, and eventually, your toddler. Defeated, you walk upstairs and open the door to your toddler’s sleepless lair and beg. Please, baby. Please little one, just go the fuck to sleep. You’ll rub his hair and pat his back and promise him all the goldfish and pretzels and chocolate milk upon rising from his successful slumber. He’s unimpressed, which is basically how toddlers give you a big middle finger.
You look at the clock and calculate how many hours and minutes and seconds you have until your husband gets home, or bedtime (whichever comes first, naturally.) You die a little inside.
Even through your exhaustion and grief over the nap not had, you realize that a bad day doesn’t make a bad life, and you get over it. Maybe the laundry won’t get folded, and maybe dinner will come from a box or via a drive thru window, but that’s okay. Everyone loves a good excuse to eat fast food fries, right?
photo // layna rae photography