Of course, most of their friends don’t even HAVE naps anymore.
But it’s not true, as a friend asked today, that if we skipped the nap, they’d go to bed earlier. It simply doesn’t happen. They just get overtired and hyper and THEN have a late, rowdy bedtime anyway.
Plus, the nap is when I make supper. The nap is when I do interviews. The nap, on Thursdays, is when I write a parsha poem (oops, except this week – add it to the “to do” list for later!). The nap is, occasionally, when I play solitaire or chat with YM.
It’s “ME” time in some way, though not the same as the “ME” time after everybody is in bed for the night. (I tell myself that it’s normal for teachers to get a break sometime in the course of the day…)
I changed Naomi’s nap a while ago so she’s only “required” to sleep every other day… most days end up being “quiet reading” where she curls up in bed with a mountain of books, usually for an hour to an hour and a half. However, stubborn kid that she is, she’ll often not sleep on “nap” days and often fall asleep on “reading” days. If she falls asleep on her “reading” day, it becomes a “nap” day and the following day becomes a “reading” day, too.
I know – it probably sounds like a weird, artificial system. What kid needs a nap every OTHER day???
But this is Naomi, and this is her metabolism, and I know well that she just isn’t the highest-energy kid in the world. She is a kid who needs a rest after every activity – some kids just don’t. And somehow, this weird nap-every-other-day system, which I am too embarrassed to explain to people most of the time, seems to give us both the structure and flexibility to miss a nap or have a nap as she needs one.
As for GZ, he SLEEPS. For a few weeks, it was hard to put him down and I thought he would drop the nap, but suddenly, he started falling asleep with nummies again. He sleeps one and a half to two hours: if he wakes up much earlier than that, I steer him back into bed, sing to him, and he passes out immediately.
And even with all of this napping every day, we still manage to have a fairly reasonable bedtime. It usually works out best when they’ve had some form of physical activity, but any kind of outing is fine. Tonight, after supper, they’ll probably go to the library with Ted.
What I have found is that there is so much activity going on here in the evenings that there would be absolutely no point in trying to convince them that 7 pm was “bedtime.” With the big kids getting home around 6 or later, and then running around screaming or studying or using the phone or bathroom or just generally stomping every which way, evenings are not the most tranquil time. And I find the littles generally handle it all better with a good nap under their belt.
So there it is – naptime.
Do your kids nap? If not, when is your YOU time? How does supper get made?