So two weeks ago we got flanked. Sleep has never been simple, predictable or looked forward to but we’d managed to get to the point where we knew that generally, the post-lunch quiet time would result in at least 40 minutes of brief respite. Time that could be spent sitting quietly on the lounge with cup of tea, surveying the evidence of the morning’s activity, spread across the floor.
Complacency probably contributed to us being unprepared for little one’s sudden decision that sleep was no longer necessary, and, that at the age of 23 months, she could now survive on 10 hours per day. A “blip” of one failed day, soon turned into two, then three and before you knew it we’d gone through a week with no day sleeps.
Coming home in the evenings was akin to a red cross mission as I entered the “camp” to see the war-torn faces of both wife and daughter – after another sleep deprived day.
On the following Sunday drastic action had to occur. The wife left for the afternoon while I had the job of “re-educating” said non-sleeper on the advantages of a small, post lunch power nap. Rather than dressing the experience up as a “rest”, daughter was informed as to the inflexible nature of the arrangement (read – you sleep, I watch telly in quiet) and I promptly left the bedroom. Howling noises ensued as she came to terms with the new world order. One hour of gargoyle action later and she was asleep/exhausted/in coma and stayed that way for three hours.
I’d like to think the reversal of sleeping form was due to my gifted parenting intuition or my “in-touchness” with the working of the toddler mind however, in truth it probably has more to do with the lack of wiring in my brain devoted to caring for a child and a corresponding ability to turn down the baby monitor and just let her”deal with it”.
The re-education is still successful. Post-lunch tea and sport/reality television/afternoon movie can still be enjoyed and everyone is much happier. There’s plenty of material, opinion and facts that say there’s a better way fix our issue than the above mentioned method however I think this is a good example of using the wisdom given to me that, a) if she’s crying, she’s breathing and b) regardless of what your offspring say (until say the age of 4), you, in theory, are the boss.