I have ‘run this gauntlet’ twice before. It too shall pass, but that doesn’t make it any more bearable.
On one side of the challenge, you have a sweet 2yo child – napping for 2hrs during the day (normally around or just after lunchtime). She awakens refreshed and amicable to any activity you have remaining in your day.
This nap will give her the strength of ten toddlers!! Yes, she will have the power to go on and on and on until almost 10 pm. Even if you are determined to maintain some routine, your fight will be in vain. There will be a plethora of excuses; delay tactics that will whittle away your faith in bedtime.
As you repeatedly say “goodnight, sweetheart” with some modicum of decorum (read: yes, you have resorted to begging…again), your spawnling learns the skill of determination.
They understand the trade-off. And they understand the power they wield.
Of course. There is… another.
The twin to the day-time nap. The ‘flip’ to this coin.
You could always… keep them awake?
On those days, plan your morning wisely. You will lose all productivity from about 1 pm onwards. Where once you could fit in 2hrs of cleaning or writing or whatever (I’m not here to judge), you are now left with a spawnling who is starting to wind up on the knowledge they are missing a nap.
They suddenly realise they have more time to do stuff. Anything. Everything. Do not be fooled by the yawn; they are merely testing out their power over you.
You could spend an hour trying to coerce them into a nap – you could also spend the hour afterwards feeling dirty and used, accepting you resorted to begging. Again.
As the afternoon wears on, your spawnling will start to show signs of fading. Let’s say bedtime is around 7 pm (based on the reasonable assumption of 7 am for rising). I predict 4.30pm the yawning progresses to regular and much shorter intervals.
Then the eye-rubbing starts at 5 pm. And don’t you dare need to drive anywhere; even a long 5min blink will be enough to recharge them to 10 pm again.
Fight the sleep! Fight the tiredness!! Persevere through the crankiness as you watch them painfully ask you to comfort them for a quick nap!
If you can make it through these 2hrs of torture, the upside is they will go to bed without struggle and fall asleep within minutes. That’s right, minions – no argument. No excuses. No “drink please?” for the 12th time.
But the spawnling is over-tired. I mean, really over-tired.
We have a history of night-terrors in EG Inc. Aggravated when over-tired.
So poor spawnling (and EG parent) will not achieve the wonder of “A Good Night Sleep”.
In fact, you will both wake up so tired in the morning… you will need a day-time nap.
Run the gauntlet, dear minion.
Daytime Nap (with late-night sleep) to the left of you.
Easy Bedtime (with hellish afternoon) to the right.
Here I am. Stuck in the middle with…