Nap strike.

My son hasn’t napped consistently in weeks and I find myself longing for “nap jail.” I had become too comfortable in my routine and forgot parenting rule number one: as soon as something becomes predictable, it changes. The last couple weeks have been a special challenge because he has an endlessly running nose and just cut two new molars. He’s mostly in a decent mood, but he is very busy and frenetic and I just know he needs more rest. When I do put him down, he fights it. If he does fall asleep (not a guarantee by any means), he’s up 20 minutes later. Sigh.

Half of it is motherly concern–the kid needs more sleep!–and the other half is me just desperate for some semi-reliable time off from chasing the little bean around all day. I have grown accustomed to getting my essential self-care in during naps. Exercise, journaling, writing, showering, meditating. Leni is now done her preschool for the summer and she can somewhat accommodate those needs even though she doesn’t nap. (That has it’s own issues, of course. Leni needs time alone with me too. Can’t win.) Finn, on the other hand, needs to be contained at all times or closely monitored at the moment. Did I mention he is oh so busy and not at all concerned about safety?

He just turned 17-months and I guess this is just a common sleep regression, right? Having said that, this has been threatening for about 2 months so I’m now kind of on the brink of losing my mind. In that time, we’ve fallen into so many bad habits in my desperation to get him napping again. I am now re-committed to attempting to transition to one nap though. You heard it here first, folks. Today is my latest solid attempt (since the failure of my previous attempts a few weeks back, that is). He woke up again after 25 minutes, but cried only a little before going back to sleep. It’s now been close to an hour, hence how I am able to write.

Ok (tentative) breakthrough alert! I did not finish this post the other day and we are now on day 3 of midday naps. In that time I’ve learned that he seems to be happy to go down after a very early lunch. Say 11:30-ish. He’ll eat half his meal and then try to (often successfully) dump his plate on the floor. After that he seems to go to bed with little or no fight.

Today when I put him down he kissed his bunny lovey and dog, waved at me and said, “bye bye.” And then not another peep.

Two out of three days he woke up at the 25-30 minute mark, but went back to sleep shortly after a few fussy cries. I know he still needs more then the hour he got day 1 and 2, but I’m feeling slightly more hopeful we’ll get there now that we’ve had some consistent success. Maybe we’ll be able to slowly push it back just a tad and shrink that afternoon gap between nap and bedtime ever so slightly. We shall see.

On another note, I am currently in quarantine because I broke out in a crazy head to toe rash on Tuesday (after a sore swollen throat the week before), which has been diagnosed as three different things by three different doctors. Aka they have no idea what it is! One said allergies, another (who did not see me in person) said measles–ack!–and my family doctor has concluded it’s most likely strep throat (which if Google is correct, means I have scarlet fever? Whaaaa?) and has put me on a dose of antibiotics. She took some tests and the final verdict is, indeed, strep. But I just took the kids to a fourth doctor to make sure they hadn’t caught it too and he just added a new twist because he is certain the rash is non-bacterial. He also suggested maybe I am simply a strep carrier and never had it to begin with since I never even had a fever. He suggested I see a dermatologist. So back to square one, I suppose.

And I am a sight to behold. These red polka dots clash with everything, sadly.

Outside of looking like a mess and being a tad itchy, I feel fine physically. So I’m taking this time to give Finn some consistency again around nap time and hide from the world. Look away hissssss. Between this and the nap strike (also some nice adventures in the middle–where I hopefully didn’t get anyone else sick–when my husband took a few days off and my brother was in town and I was yet to be covered in dots), it’s been tough to get writing in. So the one saving grace of this weird skin affliction is that I am taking some quiet time to write.

A final update before I sign off. My son has now been asleep for over an hour and a half! Feeling somewhat hopeful we may have sort of kind of cracked the nap code.

For now anyway. Never forget parenting rule number one!

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