My three year old son is down for his required daily afternoon snooze. As much as he hates it, he needs it. And so much of my day is focused on transition him to this nap. Lots of play time in the morning. Then tapper the activity until about two o’clock in the afternoon when I get him to chose between his bed and mine.
As anyone who has spent lots of time with a growing toddler knows, they pick up on patterns very quickly. And Aral can be obstinate if you back him into a corner. Thus, I feel like I’m in constant need of a thesaurus. The Eskimos have one-hundred and twenty words for snow; stay at home Dad’s need about the same variety to replace the word nap.
Lately, I’ve been using the phrase “quiet time” as a signal for moving my toddler from the floor with trucks to the bed with blanket. Today was smooth like butt’ah, I played with him in his room for about 30 minutes, than he climbed into his bed for “quiet time” (where we played with a limited number of trucks quietly for a while), followed by an excuse to exit the room on my part. Blanket pulled up over his head he was asleep by the time I returned from making a cup of tea.
I feel just a tiny bit of guilt at my manipulations. Nap time is nap time after all. But when he gets his afternoon snooze he wakes up ready for the evening, and usually in a much better mood. Knowing this tempers my apprehension for breaking out the Daddy-thesaurus.
Also, I know that “quiet time” has a half-life. Soon, oh so very soon, it will necessarily be tossed to the side in favor of some other white lie — I mean synonym — which will help him slip into slumber when he most needs it.