Archive for May 24th, 2008

Nappy Nap Nap

Posted by Darryl Melanchuk on May 24th, 2008

When Kathryn was quite young, she named her pacifier a “nap.” This seemed quite appropriate to us, especially when she was a little older and only used her “nap” for naps. Occasionally, the dad would put Kathryn down for a nap without a nap, but immediately upon closing the door Kathryn would exclaim– NAP! I need a nap! And the nap would soon be helping her nap. But, like clockwork, as soon as Kathryn finished her nap, she would come out of the room and immediately hand her nap to one of her parents.

Well, as still somewhat naive parents, they started having nightmares of Kathryn going off to college and still needing a nap. Pictures of Sunday afternoons with Kathryn curled up on the couch taking a nap with a nap. What would her roommates say? So, as wise parents who wanted to spare her the potential humiliation of future teasing, and avoid the awkward calls from her college Bishop, they decided it was time to get rid of the “nap.”

For those of you who know Kathryn, you are well acquainted with her sense of “right.” In the right way, in the right order, at the right time. Often on the weekend, you can find Kathryn’s Dad taking advantage of this innate morale compass by getting Kathryn to do things the “wrong” way. He might be reading a book and skip a page. He might put Kathryn’s pants on backwards. He might call breakfast, bweckfwest. He might sit in Mommy’s chair for bweckfwest while wearing his pants on backwards. He might try and get Mommy to say the family prayer when it’s his turn. He might even “warp” to world 4-1 in Super Mario Bros without finishing World 1-2 (this one unfortunately caused a LOT of tears last night). Such things are clearly unacceptable to Kathryn who will quickly correct such actions or burst out in tears.

This father, recognizing an opportunity to further exploit this trait for perhaps some nap behavior shaping, casually mentioned one night that big girls don’t use naps. Mommy picked up on this cue and repeated the same thing. Well, that night when Kathryn was ready for bed, Mommy tried to give her the nap, and Kathryn flatly refused. Big girls do NOT use naps. Wouldn’t take it. Said good night and asked for the door to be closed.

They looked at each other, smiled, gave a quick high-five and talked about what brilliant parents they were.

The next day, they began to realize the extent of this change. Joyfully since that innocent suggestion was put in their little girl’s head, she has never used a nap. But, very unfortunately as a consequence of not “taking” a nap–she has never since taken a nap! Gone is the pesky habit and calm are the minds of the parents thinking of her future. Also, gone is the 2-hour respite from a 2-year old’s very active lifestyle. And, as a result of less sleep, the 2 year old is often very cranky by mid afternoon and through the evening.

After a couple weeks of no naps, the parents desperately tried to reintroduce Kathryn’s nap.  To regain that beautiful 2 hours of sanity each day.  She refused.  Even cried when she saw it, exclaiming big girls don’t use naps!

So, instead of a nap, Kathryn now gets an hour of “quiet time” where she can go to her room and read books, or play. Of course, this usually results in her coming out every few minutes to see if quiet time is over, or to go on the potty (which is quite humorous since at other times during the day they carry her kicking and screaming to the potty), get a drink of water, or any other sneaky excuse she can think of to get out of quiet time.  But. she’s starting to get the hang of this and may go 30 minutes of staying in her room.

One day, she had a special quiet time! Last Saturday, a couple of the ILP girls came over and Kathryn convinced the girls to have quiet time with her. They sat and played quietly and read books. Kathryn gave them all books to read. During part of this time, Kathryn read THEM a book. They captured the moment on video. Take a look at Kathryn reading the Grover Book.

Now, Amelia has never taken a pacifier, but instead has adopted Mommy’s silky pajamas as her “comfort object.”  The parents both agree even a big girl can have silk pajamas for as long as she likes…