This week I changed my daughters' naps into Quiet Time. This involves sequestering them in separate rooms, with the doors closed, and telling them to read, do puzzles, or draw quietly for one hour until I tell them they may come out. They are only allowed to come out of their rooms if they need to use the bathroom. They do fine with these parameters, even though if I put them in their beds they would definitely still nap. I decided to drop their naps for two reasons: one, so they'll fall asleep more easily and earlier at night (mainly Genevieve), and two, so Julia can gradually get used to being up all day before first grade starts in the fall.
Of course making this switch resulted in an immediate early, fast bedtime at night. We're talking total silence by 7:30 at the latest. But what you have to understand is how beastly they are from about 2:30 or 3 p.m. on. And sometimes, like today, in the mornings when they get up, too. BECAUSE THEY ARE TIRED, PEOPLE. Sure, a 7:15 bedtime is awesome, but let's face it: that is the ONLY awesome thing about dropping the nap. And guess who benefits the most from a 7:15 bedtime, and guess who suffers the most from everything else? You might think that a couple of crabby girls doesn't sound all that bad, but if you are the parent dealing with the nonstop crying, tantrums, screaming, and fussing, it does not take long for you to feel like you'll never survive, and that your best short-term solution is to lock yourself in the master bedroom and turn on the TV, the bathroom fan, and the white-noise machine to "high" for twenty minutes while you daydream about a solo playdate between you and a bottle of wine. As an example.
As my friend Connie said in empathy, "The only person who benefits from dropping the nap is the non-stay-at-home parent, because their day is still completely the same but their evenings are super smooth."
And that's how the Summer of Fun is going so far.