Friday, November 4, 2011

Parenting Fail: Giving My Daughter The Cold Shoulder For Skipping Her Toddler Nap

If there is one thing I have learned about parenting it is that just as you think you can hit cruise control, you will inevitably hit a speed bump.   After thinking we had finally hit our groove and figured out the whole toddler nap, I have found myself spinning in the wind.

 This week has been a nasty battle ground between the Bean and I over the issue of her toddler nap. I don’t know what happened or what to do.  She went from taking a gloriously long afternoon nap, to actually asking for a morning nap last week to barely sleeping half an hour this week.  I am at a loss and after battling the Bean all week long, our war finally came to a head.

The Bean went down for her nap without an issue but when she awoke thirty minutes later, I was determined to get her back to sleep so I turned on the monitor and let her go.  I watched as she yelled for me to come and get her, I watched as she began to throw a tantrum.  I watched torn between wanting to rush right in and knowing she needed more than thirty minutes of sleep each afternoon.  I listened to her roaring angrily as she rubbed her sleepy little eyes and finally I got into the shower across from her room,  thinking that she would surely be back to sleep by the time I got out. 

When I stepped out of the shower, she was still roaring so I chalked up this battle as a loss and went and got her out of her crib.  She was sleepy and she was a bear so I thought we would simply start over.  It was frustrating but I went back to the basics of avoiding toddler sleep issues.  We ate another lunch to make sure she had a full belly, we ran to the mart for room darkening shades (after a week of piddly naps, I was desperate), and when we got up and I got the shades in place we sat in her dimly lit room and read stories for about thirty minutes until she was sleepy and rubbing her eyes.

I deposited her in her crib and just as the door clicked shut, the howl began.  My head dropped in frustration and fifteen minutes later when I finally gave up we were both in a foul mood.  The Bean was no longer cuddly sleepy she was grumpy and exhausted and I was grumpy and exhausted.  It was not my proudest mothering moment.

 I was mad at my toddler, I was mad and as she lifted her hands to me with a book in each hand I turned away from her and started hanging clothes in her closet.  I knew I was being obnoxious, I knew I was not being a good mom but I was mad.  I know that she needs a nap but I also need that nap time, that is when I get things done and I simply could not hold in my frustration.

 I should have just let it go and rolled with it.  I know that you have to be flexible and finally,  I put on her shoes and coat and followed her around the yard as she played happily while I scowled angrily thinking about everything I was not getting done. 

When my husband got home,   I left.  I was angry.  I was angry with my beautiful cherub because my day did not go my way.  I ran errands and drove with my windows down, getting home in time to say goodnight. 
Today is a new day and as she naps peacefully beside me, I am doing all I can to think of ways to make it wonderful in hopes that her first memory will not be the day her mommy refused to smile.  

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