The Demise of the Nap

I am spoiled with the kids' napping, I'm the first to admit it. Miss M turned four in September and STILL naps close to two hours a day. She has Quiet Time in the evening in her room and has lights out by 8:30/9. Mr M turned two in September and 1) still sleeps in his crib; and 2) still naps for two hours a day (though the days when he stays with my parents he won't nap). Better yet (and please don't hate me) for the last year they have NAPPED AT THE SAME TIME.

This means every day I get two hours every day all to myself. To work, to read, to exercise, to pretend I'm drinking tea in an English garden instead of reheated tea on my couch, you know, whatever I need to do to recharge my introverted soul that is with two little people (whom I adore, but still...) all day long. It's been GLORIOUS I tell you.

But everything changed this week. Mr M hasn't napped in nearly a week. I tuck in him, he settles down, and almost immediately he's chattering away. That will last for about thirty to forty minutes, at which point he starts throwing his stuffed animals and blanket out of his bed and starts hollering, "Mama! Help! Mama!" Sometimes he throws in an "I stuck!" (which is always a lie except the one time I didn't fall for it and he really had gotten his chubby little leg stuck in the crib bars - oops, bad mama). If that doesn't get me up to check on him quick enough, he starts moving his crib across his room FROM INSIDE THE CRIB. He does some kind of push-hop thing and I hear it start crashing across the hardwood floor, inch by scratchy inch.

Miss M has joined him in the nap revolt over the last few days and will sing loudly in her room and sometimes sit in the hallway talking loudly outside his bedroom door despite me hissing at her to "GO BACK TO BED."

Now I know what you're thinking - suck it up buttercup! Be like the rest of the world and accept that most children don't nap for two solid hours every day, especially four year olds. But I'm not going down without a fight. If I can't have naps, then at least I can have a blissful mid-day synchronised Quiet Time, right? The children looking at books or playing with Busy Bags by themselves in their rooms with no help needed from me...or is that just a pipe dream?

We've got a toddler bed for Mr M in storage that we may try soon. Miss M was in a crib, happily, until she was two years, ten months. I know that's unusual too but, oh my, it was lovely to have her contained in a crib during those first ten months of Mr M's life. One less thing to think about during those sleepless nights of a newborn. I was hoping we could stretch Mr M that long but I'm wondering if a switch to a bed might help at nap time. If he can't sleep then he can play in his room instead of taking his crib for a walk.

Either way, I need to find some way to make Quiet Time work if nap time really is over. Any suggestions on how to do this with a four and two year old? Let them play together? Keep them in separate rooms? I could really use some advice - Mama needs her alone time!!!

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