The Nap Window
This post is for TO (Toddlers Only). If you're an adult, go find something to do. Can't think of anything? Organize the receipts in your wallet or stack some mail- point is, you need to go.
why are you still here
Now that we're alone I wanted to let you in on something every toddler needs to know. Have you heard of the Nap Window? It's time for you to learn how to shatter it with your fist. No, it's not made of glass. That would be too easy. The Nap Window is made of oppression and forged in the flaming hot tears of toddlers around the globe.
What would you say if I told you there was a way to cancel your nap time. This isn't about asking for 6 cups of water, perfectly timed poops, or pulling down the curtains in your room- those tactics are classics but will only earn you a white participation belt in my dojo. If you're ready for nunchucks and a 100-karat gold waistbelt sewn with thread from black unicorn manes, keep reading.
Right now you think naps are timed haphazardly. Your caregiver gets tired of looking at your face and five minutes later you're laying face up on the thinnest fitted sheet money can buy, right? No. I mean, yes, they are tired of seeing and hearing you but forced day sleep is planned hours in advance. It's actually a very complex mathematical formula that I don't have time to get into right now that is designed to have you sleeping exactly in the center of the day as not to disturb your inevitable night time sleep. That's right. These people brought you into the world and all they can think about is the next time you'll be unconscious.
Adults need routine and once their agenda is thrown off, 99% of them will become disoriented and will surrender their entire day's plan. The other 1% will cry on and off while eating snack-sized Snickers bars until nightfall. Crushing the Nap Window means you have to somehow toss a nail into this robotic system and destroy your parent's projected schedule from the inside out.
"But how?" you're asking. This is going to blow your mind, but the answer is as simple as good behavior. I'm not saying you need to start a gratitude journal and start spot cleaning your clothes calm down. No need to go crazy. Just stay under the radar. Come 10:00AM begin handling issues yourself. Play with your toys without asking for help. We both know they're terrible at staying in character anyway. Don't ask for a snack, there's plenty of trail mix-style food in crevices around your home. Meals taste so much better when you catch them yourself.
What you'll notice is that your caregiver's mind will begin to drift into either a state of extreme relaxation or productivity. Depending on the slacker level of your parent (right now I'm in the presence of a Level 10 Do Nothing) they'll either get an early jump on taxes or spend three hours alternating between creating "ambitious" new Pinterest boards and TMZ.com. It doesn't matter. The minutes will turn into hours. Once/If lunch is eventually served, eat is leisurely and calmly. Nothing aggravates a parent into accelerated nap time mode than crying. Be cool.
Mind your composure. Be clearly alert but not wired like someone high on red drink. Speak loudly and clearly of your goals for the afternoon. Shout positive affirmations. Ask if you can learn letters (don't actually learn them lol). Request to speak on the phone with a relative.
Help clean up from lunch. <--. This may cause shooting pains up your arm, if it does stop. None of this is worth your well being.
If you've followed the steps above and manage to get to 1:30PM, or 2PM you're a capital B Boss. It's too late for nap time. The only thing your warden- just kidding- fears more than an afternoon indoors with crazy overtired you is a loco night. Do you see? Now it's time to be yourself. Do you. Whatever that means, do you.
Self-control isn't something we're known for and this won't work every day but save the wisdom I've just sprinkled over you like Cheeto dust and put it in your arsenal. You might get to watch a show you normally sleep through or visit the park during non-peak hours. Maybe the person responsible for you will fall asleep on the couch at 4PM giving you a few minutes alone for whatever. If you are particularly lucky and the stars align, someone may decide that you've outgrown naps all together. This will only be temporary, but imagine days that seem 50 hours long. It's a dream come true.
When you skip your nap, the possibilities are endless. Endless.
Until next time.