Naptime Rules of Engagement
By stephbernaba on September 24, 2012
Putting three toddlers to bed at any time is not for the faint of heart. And successfully executing nap time for all three can be elusive and quite rewarding. Since it’s become almost literally my life’s work to ensure my children have naps, I’ve compiled a list of handy do’s and dont’s for your own naptime adventures.
Create a recognizable schedule for naptime. For example, my son knows that it’s, “Caillou, then nap.” Adhere to this schedule as strictly as possible.
Provide a safe, comfortable napping area. Make sure favorite blankets, pillows, and other items are on hand.
Make sure your children are fed and hydrated adequately, freshly changed, and an ideal temperature is achieved before putting your children down.
Stick to the parameters that have been set, i.e. sleeping in one’s own bed, not getting up out of bed after naptime has begun.
Allow the oldest to ‘assist’ the other children get to nap. This activity instills a sense of pride and responsibility.
If you have a home phone, take it off the hook, so the ringing does not disturb your children.
Sneeze, cough, burp or initiate any bodily function that cannot be carried out silently.
Attempt to make yourself lunch if it involves a) a crinkly bag, b) the microwave, or c) the refrigerator. I recommend bananas.
Flush the toilet.
Walk along the floorboards that creak.
Bump into the side of the baby gate on your way through.
Allow any fool to ring your doorbell. I suggest waiting by the door with a spade.
Open or close any door.
Pull out or push in a chair.
Turn on the faucet, shower*, washing machine, dryer, or dishwasher.
Open cans (not even pop tops!).
Guzzle, slurp, or smack your lips.
Pour cat food into a bowl. They can eat later.
Turn the pages of any book, magazine, or catalog.
*If you’re compelled to shower, do so with the shower door open.
Recommended naptime activities include playing with one’s phone, eating non-refrigerated fruit, raking the sand of a Zen garden (don’t touch the sides!), and watching the television on mute. Any other activity can and will set off a chain reaction of whining, bargaining, and cookies, which will virtually eliminate the possibility of your having any type of break.
Just remember, you’ve been warned.
And if you fail? There’s always tomorrow. Trust me. There’s always tomorrow.
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