4 Jun

This post is one of a series for KIDsize Living. If you’ve come from KSL, welcome! Sorry about the mess. Oh, hang on, you can’t see my lounge room… Well, here’s my dirty laundry instead.

I was planning to write you a witty post about birthday party politics this month, KSLers, full of wry observations on parkside RSA, stripy straws and sultana highs. But to be honest, I can barely be bothered to wash my face at the moment. The delights of a bit of banter over a cupcake and a coldie seem a distant memory. You see, my daughter’s on a nap strike.

I told myself at first it was just a couple of bad days. Everyone has times when they can’t get to sleep, right? But the days stretched on, and the kid showed no signs of cracking. “Time to go to sleep, sweetie” was met at first with a firm and certain “no”. Then the yelling started. And the nappy wrestling. There was some critical sleeping bag issue that was causing hysteria. Scaling the side of the cot was only a day away.

So I started to plead (I’ll sit here with you if you’ll just lie down), then threaten (I’m leaving if you don’t lie down), then blackmail (no Playschool unless you lie down and go the you-know-what to sleep).

I’d read you’re not supposed to engage in negotiation with a toddler. Now I know why.

It’s because they’ll win.

After a week waging a war of attrition by day, she’s taking the fight to the night, where she knows I’m at my weakest. And that’s the kicker. I’m well aware that in the scheme of things, her sleep issues are not killer. Yeah, she’s cranky at the end of the day. Yes, there have been a handful of nights of broken sleep. But I know plenty of families do it much, much tougher.

What’s killing me is how poorly I’m dealing with it.

I NEED those two hours of nap time to re-group. I’m just as stroppy by the end of the day as the two year old. Not all the tears have been hers. You see, I have a teensy tiny tendency to catastrophise – as in, she’s never going to sleep and I saw this episode of Supernanny where they analyse the brainwaves of chronically sleep deprived children and she’s going to be permanently damaged and I’ve faaaiiled! I’ve failed as a mother! Ex cetera.

As mums, we’re so often our own toughest critics. And in the battle of the naps, the critic in me is harsh. Way harsh. Maybe she needs a lie down.

How do you cope with changes in your kids’ routines? Are you a hard arse or a go with the flow parent? Or does the mere talk of children send you screaming to the nearest bar? I’d love to hear YOUR confessions… I’ll have plenty of time to read them as I sit in the car while The Berry naps, since apparently after two years of refusing to sleep in the car, now she won’t drop off anywhere else. Sigh.


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