We interrupt our usual details about food to bring you a post on a topic that interests almost everyone…naps!
I am the mother of a strong-willed child who happens to be a toddler. The toddler years have to be some of the most exciting, and frustrating years…toddlers can listen and follow through, and they get so excited about the smallest things like a trip to the grocery store! However, toddlers also realize that they have a mind of their own and act on it frequently.
Have you heard your parents say, “Pick your battles!” Well, that is something that I have had a crash course on with my dear Princess ever since she was born. We’ve had battles about food, sleep, potty training, clothing STAYING ON, and about so many things in her sweet young life.
We’ve pretty much established our rules about food, the potty training…well this was not a battle that I was going to fight. She was 80 percent potty trained in one week and then she just stopped. Nothing would motivate her not even M & M’s made a dent in this child’s strong will. She absolutely refused to sit on the potty. So I just stopped—stopped nagging, bribing, and pestering. It made for a significantly more peaceful household. I have to keep reminding myself that the $35 plus spent each month on diapers and wipes is worth it. Her perfectionism got in the way so she stopped trying. Nothing could be said that would convince her that sometimes we mess up!
Aren’t you just dying to hear the saga of the nap battles? I insisted that she go to sleep for a nap because by 4:00 pm she was almost impossible to deal with. A toddler without a nap equals running around in circles screaming piercingly in the backyard. My insistence was exhausting! Over Christmas when we were both home we let her skip a nap and put her to bed at 6:30 pm. After a few days of that she obviously needed a nap so her daddy lay down with her and instant sleep was theresult. That night she got to stay up later and do shadows on the wall of the house. She was so excited. The process repeated itself a couple of times when finally, I just decided to ask her. Do you want to take a nap and stay up to play outside after dark or do you want to stay up now and go to bed early?
Amazingly, she completely understood and now almost daily she is choosing a nap. No more fights about lying down and staying quiet! No fights at night either and I was amazed at what a simple question could do for one of my least favorite jobs…insisting that a strong-willed toddler do what is best for her health. Now if I could only figure out how to get her to like baths or keeping shoes on when it’s cold outside…I guess I will just have to “choose my battles!”