Quiet time quandaries.

Remember a few weeks ago when I told you that E was in no way, no how, no shape ready to drop her afternoon nap?

I SWEAR THE UNIVERSE IS LISTENING AND I NEED TO SHUT MY FAT MOUTH.

This is probably the twelfth thing in twelve months that I’ve sworn to and had to later recant.

Last Wednesday, E decided that she was over nap time. She agreed to “quiet time” in her room which lasted exactly 8 minutes before she saddled up to my side for the remainder of the day. I remained optimistic and attributed her surge in energy of the mountains of sugar and processed snacks consumed during her preschool Valentine’s Day party.

No such luck. Nap time is officially over for my 3 1/2 year old. I’m okay with the not sleeping. Her behavior has been fine considering the change in routine and bedtime arrives about an hour earlier in the evening. But I have an almost-2-year-old who desperately needs to sleep so the decibel level needs to be low for a couple of hours.

And I need the time away from my kids. I need to pee in silence. I need to eat my lunch without someone begging for “just one bite.” I need to fold laundry and phone a friend and catch up on my Hulu queue.

Okay, maybe “need” is a strong word. Call it selfish but without a chance to regroup, this momma is certifiably nuts. Regardless, I think quiet time is necessary for kids, even if it’s nothing more than 30 minutes of sitting and coloring or flipping through books in her room. Ya dig?

Also, nap time is when I usually sit down with my second third cup of caffeine to chat with you. I love blogging but I’m not great at making it fit in this new routine. Especially when E is standing next to me, begging I take my eyes “away from that ‘puter there” and put them on her. Oh, truth spoken from the mouth of babes.

I’ve talked to friends who’ve traversed this road before me and picked up bits of wisdom to help ensure quiet time is a “go” every afternoon. We’re not at 100% success yet, but I’m feeling hopeful.

First up, meet E’s new friend.

It’s an OK to Wake! children’s alarm clock that glows red during sleeping hours and turns green when the child is allowed to get up. Brilliance, right?! Amazon Prime 2-day shipping saves the day, yet again, and this gem is en route to our home as we speak.

Up until this point, I’ve kept all of E’s toys out of her room because her bedroom was a place for sleeping and not playing. Now, I’ve rearranged some of her storage space and moved some puzzles, kid-friendly markers and paper, and dolls into a new “quiet time play bin.” I’m also putting an old CD player on her shelf to hopefully add some ambient noise. Silence is boring, so hopefully some Beatles or Jack Johnson will help buy me 30 minutes.

Worst case scenario, the girl gets her iPod Touch for a bit. Heaven knows she needs no more screen time. But she loves it and some apps are educational, right?

Wish me luck! I love my children dearly but this Momma needs a break.

At what age did your kids stop napping? How do you create a good atmosphere for quiet time?

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3 thoughts on “Quiet time quandaries.

  1. I understand your frustration! We have not had daytime naps in weeks, Wilbur has 30 minutes at nursery religiously but nothing on my watch. And to add to that he is only 2 and a half! To be fair he has never been a good sleeper day or night so it was no surprise when the naps stopped!
    As for the clock it’s a brilliant idea, we went for the Gro-clock instead and it works a treat!
    Good luck, I hope quiet time becomes a new favourite time of day for both of you!

  2. Our friends have a three year old and recently found that “alarm” clock – they said it works like a charm. Although I’m not a mom yet, I can see the benefits (for child and mom) for a kid being able to quietly entertain him/herself for a bit every day.
    Good luck!

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