My now-ten year old twins napped until they were nearly four. We finally had to force them not to nap when their bedtime crept from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. and even later. They went to bed, but they didn't go to sleep.
So, we'd skip their naptime and by 5 p.m., they would be so tired that we wouldn't let them sit down and watch t.v. or do anything "quiet" or they'd fall alseep for three solid hours.
My now-five year old quit taking naps before he was two years old. One time, shortly before his second birthday, my husband and I took him to a mall, for a little outing while the older kids were in school. The Supermall is a huge, circular place and we hadn't been there many times before.
We were checking toy stores for a particular item and in the second store, YoungestBoy picked up a toy. As was my custom, I took it from him and said, "No, not today. Let's go now and see what else we can see."
He began to cry. So, I scooped him up and hurried about three stores down the mall, figuring that would be the end of that.
He has his father's stubborn streak. He kicked. He screamed. He flailed. He cried. I finally held him against me, arms and legs out, kicking, waving, twisting . . . I broke a sweat. We made a quick decision and figured it would be faster to just keep going since the mall was a circle.
We went another three-quarters of the way around before we found our exit. Then, with the fit-throwing boy still screaming, walked through two parking lots, me with grim, sweaty face, figuring that someone was surely dialing the number for Children's Protective Services at that moment.
Found our car. The tantrum had not lessened and in fact, we couldn't bend him to get him into the car seat. I spanked him and the shock of that caused him to bend long enough for me to buckle him in. He was now so angry he was foaming at the mouth and struggling to get out of his carseat.
He screamed, red-faced, for twenty minutes before he fell into a sweaty sleep. (By a stroke of luck, I'd taken a picture of him on the way to the mall, and now I took a picture of him on the way home, all blotchy and disheveled. I love those pictures!)
We got home and he woke up and remembered what he'd been doing when he fell asleep, so he resumed the tantrum. I took him straight upstairs and plopped him into his crib and told him that when he was finished, I would come and get him.
He carried on for a bit.
Finally, the fit ended and I brought him downstairs.
Sadly, my new baby, my sweet girl, Babygirl, God's gift to me, the one who will care for me in my old age, the apple of my eye, the sunshine of my life, my daughter, who is not even fourteen months old . . . yes, her, the cute one with reddish blond hair and denim blue eyes . . . she hasn't napped in four days.
Is this is a trend, a new chapter in her life, a permanent change? Doesn't God realize I am an old woman? I need a break! I need some peace! I need a baby-free zone!
I need a nap.