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.