Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The Thing About Naps

Cora started preschool on September 1st. She loves it, and now that we're in a carpooling groove, I love it too. She goes four days each week, 11:20 to 2:37, so by the time she's home, it's 3 pm. While she does still have a "rest time" from 3 to 4 pm on school days, she rarely falls asleep. If we could eat dinner at 5:15 and have her in bed by 6:30, life would be grand. But alas, 5:15 is too early for dinner and 6:30 is too early for bed.

Saturday, on the other hand, she was almost begging for a nap around noon. I say almost because she still cried in protest when I suggested we "read some books." After some playing and dressing up alone in her room, I was able to sing her to sleep. She slept for two hours and was so pleasant all afternoon! Why don't I make her nap everyday?, I asked myself. Oh, right, because you can't force a child to fall asleep.

But I should remember that even when she was napping most days, I had other complaints. Mainly that she wasn't ready for bed until 9:30 pm.

Regardless of naps or bedtimes, I'm trying to appreciate who she is - skeptical, curious, sweet, creative - and anticipate things that can make her lid flip when she's sleep deprived. Before 3-year-old-Cora, I was very reluctant to give in or make special considerations (for example, serving food I know she likes instead of something I know she doesn't), but I'm beginning to soften. I've learned that for someone with Cora's personality, softness works. Showing her that she's driving me crazy with her whining by exasperatingly saying Aghh! Why are you whining? doesn't work. I know what works. Now I just need to breathe and look for ways to pre-empt her meltdowns.

I love you Cora, and I'm enjoying learning about who you are.

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