My world is coming to an end. Alex is giving up napping.
I know I shouldn't be surprised, she's over 3 years old and many kids give them up way earlier, but just because I'm not surprised doesn't mean I have to be happy about it.
Nap time routine has been a part of my life for pretty much 5 years. Because even after Austin gave up his nap 2 years ago, Alex still napped. And since she napped, I could convince him to go into his room most days and 'rest'. Sometimes he'd read books, sometimes he'd play, sometimes he'd even lie down. Heck, to be perfectly honest, he's 5 years old and I still make him go into his room most days to play quietly for a little while. Partly because the downtime is good for him and mostly because that means I get 30 minutes of peace and quiet every afternoon.
The routine for the last two years has been this: Alex lies down for a nap, Austin and I play quietly for a little while and then he goes into his room to play by himself while I do some work or play around on the computer if there's no work to be done. It's my time (or my clients' time).
But now, she's going into her room -- and more days than not, not sleeping. And the days she does fall asleep is usually because I threatened her to do so. (The other day, I knew we were going to be out late so I told her if she didn't nap, we weren't going. Needless to say, she slept.) But overall, she typically only sleeps 3 days a week if I'm lucky. The other 4 days she lies in her bed and complains that she doesn't want to sleep. And so I eventually cave and tell her to get up and play quietly in her room. She does for awhile and then she'll open her door and yell "can I get up yet?".
The plus side is it's happening at a time when the kids are old enough to play on their own together and therefore don't need me to constantly entertain them all day long. Many days after lunch, they go off and play and I've gone down to my office to get some work done. They don't need me, so I try not to 'need' them. It's not exactly peace and quiet, but it's still a little bit of time to myself.
Of course, the problem with the end of nap time is always the same -- she may not be tired at 2 p.m., but she sure as hell is a miserable wreck by 7 p.m. without one.
But as the end of nap time draws near -- just in time for school to let out -- I'm going to have to relook and rework how I balance my stay-at-home, work-from-home life. Because now, I'm going to have 2 kids all day for 2 months and no one is going to want to stop to sleep.
Well, except maybe me.