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Tuesday, November 28, 2006  

Wide Awake in America

Our house is home to an endangered species: the weekend-afternoon nap. M. Small wants no part of it any more. He needs to realize that the nap isn’t just for him; it’s for me. I didn’t need naps when I could sleep until ten or eleven a.m. on weekends, but since that’s no longer an option, the deficit has to be made up somewhere. When he crashes, I can do the same. Or, failing that, a little laundry.

This shouldn’t be hard. His day care provider claims that he naps from noon to two every weekday afternoon. But then at two on Saturday, we’re still trying to get him down. There are signs that he’s tired – a generally short fuse over the mildest challenges to his autonomy; a refusal to give up his pacifier without a wobbler, no matter how many times we insist “Pacie is for bed”; his total inability to keep from drifting over the fog line when driving on the freeway. But none of it matters to him, because there are only so many hours in the day and he’s got a lot of running around to do and a lot of shit to try and break. And there’s only so much of that he can do from inside his crib.

Yes, he’s still sleeping in a crib. We’re beginning to suspect that at 25½ months, it may be a little late. On the other hand, we’ve always been told that when the kid starts climbing out of the crib, it’s time to switch to a bed, as in that very day. Except he has yet to climb out. I thought for a while that it’s because the walls were high enough to prevent him from heaving himself over, but now I’ve been in there a couple of times when he’s lifted both feet off the mattress and balanced his entire weight along the top rail until I went over and tipped him back in. So now I think it’s just that he’s old enough to realize that if he does go over the wall without a spotter, that hardwood floor is a long way down. Eventually he’ll figure out how to swing down while holding on with his hands and lower himself to the floor, and then we’re screwed. Unless of course that happens the day he goes off to college.

There is a toddler bed waiting in the garage, which his b-rents scored for free, just in case he does graduate from the crib before he graduates from kindergarten. When we phase that in, only the fact that it’s shaped like a car will be able to keep him in it. And who knows how long the novelty of that will last?

It’s bad enough putting him in his crib already. I parked him in there at about 1:30 on Sunday, then settled down with Trash in the next room to read while we waited for him to drift off (gosh, I’d love to clean the bathroom, but we have to be quiet until he falls asleep). Instead of hearing restful silence after a while, we were treated to a one-tiny-man radio play full of nonsensical monologues, calls to action, things hitting the floor, and the sound of thirty-odd pounds of human being bouncing on the mattress again and again. Those bounces kept getting further and further apart, but it wasn’t because he was winding down. It was because he was starting to get some serious air.

After about an hour of this, I went into his semi-darkened bedroom. Everything in his crib – toys, stuffed animals, sippy cup, his pants -- had been hurled to the floor. He greeted me with the remark that awaits almost every time one of us goes in there: “I want to get up.” No shit. I knew that if he’d just lie down and close his eyes for two minutes, he’d be comatose less then a minute in. But try explaining that to a two-year-old. Or, if he already understands it, which is possible, try explaining that it’s a good thing.

After he spent an hour or so wearing himself out to prove he wasn’t tired, I decided to say screw it and take him along on a Target errand. We left around three or so. This was taken ten minutes after entering the store:

I guess he showed me, huh?

posted by M. Giant 9:13 PM 8 comments


Ella, at 21 months, is getting pretty difficult to get down for a nap as well. And she also throws every single thing from her crib when we put her in to bed. BUT I know she needs the nap, and she's not crying or yelling when she's in there, so I figure she can sit in bed for 2 hours amusing herself and maybe that is a bit of a break even if its not a nap. She always falls asleep though. Do you think M Small is just totally past that stage? Or are you giving up to quickly? I hope its answer B, because I don't want to even consider the possibility that I only have a few more months when I can actually sit down during the day.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 29, 2006 at 5:05 AM  

Our youngest daughter is the same age and we set up the toddler bed for naps, at first, then did nights after she was used to the other bed. She loved the toddler bed so it helped getting her to take naps...maybe you could try letting him sleep in the toddler bed for naps as a "treat."

By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 29, 2006 at 5:59 AM  

Our son is almost 30 months and still in his crib. Granted, he's pretty small, but he has also never tried to climb out of the crib. We tried the toddler bed last week, because he was talking about a bed, and wanting to make his bed, etc. Yeah, that whole being-able-to-get-out-whenever-he-wants? Two year old wandering the house at 2am was a little unnerving. Not to mention that he was totally freaked out by the bed. So we had a kid who slept on his own (most nights) in his crib, and created a kid who would only sleep with us. Needless to say, the crib went back up. Otherwise, he still loves the afternoon nap . . .


By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 29, 2006 at 6:47 AM  

I'm glad to know Jamie isn't the only toddler expressing outrage through the removal and flinging of pants. I'm sure if he could figure out how to deal with the armholes, the shirt would follow...

By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 29, 2006 at 7:09 AM  

Dude - it's like you're living in my house. We have the same issue with our daughter, who is 27 months old. She does basically the same things M. Small is doing, as well as her personal renditions of the ABC song, Itsy-Bitsy Spider, and counting to 10. She's also still in the crib. I was going to try to switch her this summer, but after a camping trip this summer, where she was all over the damn camper at night with no crib to settle her into, I decided to wait until after Christmas. Actually, my exact word were "She can sleep in that damn crib until she's 4, for all I care", but it may have been the stress talking.
- Patty

By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 29, 2006 at 7:36 AM  

Fortunately our 28 month old still takes his naps (knock on wood) even on weekends when home with us. He's still in a crib too. He actually did get out one night a couple of months ago, multiple times in the same night until the last escape when I think he hurt himself a bit on the dismount. I immediately bought some sort of crib-encapsulation device (crib tent) ("I'll be damned if I move him out of a crib yet!!") but he never got out again so I sent it back unused. I am dreading the transition; it takes him at least an hour to fall asleep because of all of the singing, talking and jumping he has to do first. There's no way he'll stay in a bed. *sigh*

By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 29, 2006 at 2:04 PM  

Awww, that picture is crazy cute!


By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 29, 2006 at 2:31 PM  

I agree, I love the picture! We shamelessly resort to driving ours around in the car till he falls asleep for his weekend naps.

By Blogger Unknown, at December 3, 2006 at 5:38 PM  

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