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Get Real: Does Your Pre-Schooler Still Take A Nap?

I am admittedly not one for schedules. I like to live life as it comes and goes—and really enjoy! Yesterday it was 60 degrees and sunny. JD and I hit up the farmer’s market at around 9 A.M. then went food shopping at the grocery store. We got home around 11:30 A.M. and I prepared lunch (fresh fruit, veggies and turkey sandwiches) while JD played cars in the living room. We ate and chatted while a crisp breeze filled our condo from all of the open windows. After lunch, JD usually takes a two-hour nap, but it was too nice to sleep—we hit the park with friends!

JD and Morgan chased each other around, played in the sandbox and acted silly for nearly 3 hours while I chatted with her mom and dad. There were pretzel sticks, juice boxes and laughs—it felt great to be outside.

At around 3:30 P.M. we left the park. I was certain JD would fall asleep on the 10-minute ride home, but instead he pointed out convertibles and trucks. At home, we washed up and when I realized it was nearly 4 P.M. I decided there would be no nap—it was too late and if JD napped now, he wouldn’t sleep later. We had some quiet time on the couch and watched cartoons. Then I started dinner. Then JD started to meltdown—knew it. He was clearly over-tired. I told him to rest on the couch, but he instead pulled at my shirt and hung on me while I dished out two bowls of spaghetti and meatballs. “Hold me, Mama!” he said. I dragged him to the table and negotiated every bite.

“I’m cold,” he said. “I need blanky!” (It wasn’t cold. The windows were open and the temp was perfection.)

He got up and retrieved his blue blanky from his bed. Lord. He sat back down at the table and said, “Cover me, Mama. I’m chilly!” I took a bite of spaghetti and wrapped the blanky around him like a cape. Was it ideal? No. Do I pick my battles with my three-year-old? Yes. I was able to get random bites of spaghetti, meatball and peas into his mouth only after declaring it was sprinkled with love and super-hero dust. Soon he was up wandering around the condo telling me he was “fulled.” “You can’t be full, bud. There’s a lot left. Come sit down.”

He wouldn’t sit down. I brought cars to the table. He sat down and I fed him like he was one. I cleaned up and he sat on the couch with a cup of milk and watched cartoons. It was still too early to bathe, read books and go to bed. I didn’t want a wakeup call at 4 A.M.  “Wanna go outside and play?” I asked. Kid got his second wind. We played hide-and-seek and soccer in the courtyard—and it made him more tired, obviously.

By the time we got inside he wanted bed. Not bath. Not books. Just bed. He got a two-minute bath—see, I pick my battles. He was a dirty bird from the park and had school today. After his bath it was 7:45 P.M. We usually read books (like 7!) and he’s up until at least 8:30-9 P.M. He walked into his room and got into bed. I didn’t fight it. I kissed and covered him. Good night, sweet love.

He slept through the night and woke up at 6 A.M.

Here’s the thing: JD does nap at school according to his teachers. And he does nap on rainy days or when I’m working from home. On those days, there is never a meltdown in the early evening. It’s smooth sailing. Still, I’m glad I spent the day playing at the park with my kid yesterday. That memory will live with me forever. Not the meltdowns.

You might also like: Get Real: Does Your Pre-Schooler Still Use A Stroller?

Does your pre-schooler nap? How long does your child nap for?

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