I’ve heard of the terrible twos, but up until a few weeks ago, I kept thinking, Not MY sweet little, angelic boy! That was, until he was jumping up and down, stomping his feet, screaming, pounding on the door and “raging out” as I like to call it.
Why? Because I told him he couldn’t have anymore of his favorite Honeysuckle Honeydew EOS chapstick. After he’d already negotiated, with his little pointer finger, barely formed words and an affirming head nod,
“One more, mama. One more. ”
“No more chapstick, we’ve already had some,” I say calmly as we’re trying to leave the house to gymnastics class. I literally hold my breath in anticipation of the rage that is about to explode from this otherwise utterly sweet little boy. All over chapstick.
Like a yoga mantra, I have to remind myself…Calmly offer an explanation. Share affirming words. Acknowledge his feelings. Empathize with him. Be there if he wants a hug. Keep him safe from his own frustrations. Let him express himself. Move on after it’s over.
I totally understand that in his ever-growing world, seemingly small things (to me) are a big deal to him. He’s learning so much about the world around him, his place in his, his ability to interact with that world…to flex his control in that world…to negotiate in that world. I mean, he loves those little chapsticks – he can open the top all by himself, he can put it on all by himself and he can put the top back on all by himself.
What more could a two-year old want than to be in total control?
A nap, you say? Temper-tantrums are usually a result of being down-right-tired, right? So, just make sure he gets his nap and we can hope to avoid some of these meltdowns.
Nope. That would make too much sense and be too easy. We are going on day 12 of no nap.
And not the I’m-going-to-sit-in-my-crib-and-just-talk-to-myself kind of no nap. No, this is the begin-SCREAMING-the-second-mom-puts-me-in-my-crib-and-rage-until-she-gets-me kind of no nap. Another lovely by-product of the terrible twos. It started with some Christmas-cooties that we all passed around during the lovely two weeks my hubby was home. After that, he hasn’t taken a nap except for when he falls asleep at the boob (twice)…or when he actually fell asleep in the car on Saturday for 45 minutes…which he NEVER does. [I know, what kid doesn’t fall asleep in the car? The kid whose mother was a freak about being home for nap time so he pretty much only knows how to nap in his crib. Great most of the time. Except for when he’s not napping in his crib and won’t nap anywhere else. Sigh.]
BUT. All hope is not lost. I am NOT giving up on his nap time. That is the MOST sacred of times for me and he is most CERTAINLY still in need of rest during the day.
So, what to do? Call in the experts, of course! My trusty network of amazing mamas.
I tossed the scenario out to the Boobie Group and another mommy group I’m a part of and I’ve gotten some great suggestions:
- Keep at it and stay strong and consistent – their little ones did this at age two and sooner than later they were back to their nap!
- Try moving nap time a bit earlier or later to see if he’s more ready for a nap then.
- Give him some really great exercise before nap time, like a good game of tag!
- Try putting some toys or books in his crib to help him quietly play for an hour and “rest.”
A Boobie Group mommy also posted an article from http://www.babysleepsite.com called “Toddler Sleep and 5 Things You Need to Know” that I found helpful, and most of all, affirming. We’ve all been through sleep regressions before, and lived to see the other side of them. Though, in the midst of them it’s easy to think that your baby will never sleep again. At age two it is possible he’s done taking naps, but I haven’t given up hope yet. He still seems pretty tired and if nothing else we’ll work out some quiet time for little W and for Mommy.
So here’s the game plan.
Yesterday I tried his nap earlier, and went into his room in increments to try and soothe him. That did NOT work and actually only made him more angry. So, today I think I’m going to try a little bit of a later nap and make sure he’s gotten some really good physical exercise in during the morning! I’m thinking of putting up his mobile again, too, and letting him play with that during his nap – it has a swirling light, soothing sounds, etc. and I think could be a calming “toy” he could play with.
I’ll keep you posted.