Life without the nap

Yes, Leta really goes to bed at 7:15 PM, that was not something I made up. But I don’t like writing about Leta’s sleeping habits here because last time I did I received some very angry email from people who said that they were going to do everything they could to have Leta removed from my care. And that wasn’t a good week for me.

She goes to bed so early because two weeks ago she stopped napping, just like that. We’d put her in bed, pull down the shades, and close the door, but she wouldn’t go to sleep. Instead, she’d lie there talking to herself for an hour, often in Spanish, often making fart noises with her mouth. Because GEORGE! taught her that it was funny. With his butt.

We still make her lie down for an hour even though she doesn’t sleep, because it’s good for her to have some downtime. Otherwise she’s unbearable throughout the afternoon all the way up until we put her to bed, and then putting her to bed is almost impossible because of the way she suddenly becomes a lunatic, all arms and legs and a string of incoherent syllables coming out of her mouth to signal that she will not go voluntarily. Like a typical three-year-old. For those of you who do not have kids and have ever wondered what life would be like, just go turn on a blender and stick your face in it. That.

We still turn on the monitor while she’s having downtime, because I am obsessed with knowing whether or not she does fall asleep, if only to know when to put her to bed at night. A few days ago I walked back up into our office to get some work done after putting her down, and fifteen minutes later I could hear through the monitor that she was screaming, “SALTO! SALTO!” followed closely by a loud thump, thump, thump. I quickly turned up the monitor, because I couldn’t figure out what was thumping, maybe the window shade, maybe a bush outside, when I finally realized she was jumping on her bed. During downtime. I don’t think I have to tell you that this is unacceptable behavior, right up there with wiping your nose on my shirt, or screaming SHIT in front of your grandfather.

So I ran downstairs, swung open her door, pointed my finger directly at her jumping body and said firmly, “LIE DOWN RIGHT NOW.” I could not have startled her more. I mean, how did I know? Can I see through walls?

Mid-jump she froze, and then that kid moved more quickly than she ever has in her life to get back under the covers and shove her thumb in her mouth. I turned, walked out and closed the door, and then stood there in the hall with my fist in the air, because I had just successfully BUSTED MY OWN CHILD.

And I’m still feeling guilty about the insane rush I got off that feeling.