If you are not familiar with the title of this blog stop reading here. This is ONLY material for those of us unfortunate enough to immediately understand the content that I am about to discuss. If you are one of those people who puts your child down to nap and they wake up gurgling, talking to their teddies or worse still, singing, then I suggest you get back to your simple little Von Trapp member* asap and leave us to wallow in our afternoon of bitter wailing.
*I’m not really suggesting your child is simple. Or a member of the Von Trapp family. I am just very very (very) jealous of you.
So, parent of afternoon screamer, lets have a little tete-a-tete about this ridiculous sitch shall we?
You and your pint sized pal have had a lovely morning (well, you know… it’s all relative). You feed your little companion, it’s all smiles and hair flicks and Pinterest activities and THEN it’s naptime.
You put your little one down (to sleep, don’t get drastic).
You now have 40 mins to 3 hours (dependent on absolutely nothing as far as you can work out) until they wake up.
They look like cherubic little drawings, all rosy cheeks, cuddling their favourite soft toy and looking like any of the babies in the Pampers ad. They could be one of those babies you know – look into it, they = perfect. They smell like nectar and baby shampoo and bring a tear to your eye with their perfect mix of innocence and exhaustion.
And then they wake up.
I don’t know how yours wakes up but mine goes something like this:
*COUGH, COUGH* (as far as I can tell the only purpose the cough serves is to act as is a siren for the impending carnage. I am ever grateful to the *cough, cough* for it gives me time to brace myself, hide or start crying, dependent on the day).
Me to other children: ‘HE IS WAKING UP, HE IS WAKING UP. THIS IS NOT A DRILL. I REPEAT YOUR BROTHER IS WAKING UP.’
Expect other children to hide but in all honesty the eldest is normally at school and the baby doesn’t really understand. The television is rarely interested.
That was not me BTW, that was the 2 year old.
I run in like some comedy butler skidding over various toys and bringing various peace offerings…
‘Hello darling did you have a nice nap?’
Open blind, hold arms out, try to look like loving mother.
Oh my goodness, you know that child I discussed earlier? The one I was just filling in a form for a pampers advert audition for? Someone has only bloody taken him and replaced him with a hybrid of that child from the exorcist and that kid who went to your school with an eternally snotty nose. He smells like sweat and urine and looks like he is ready to go on some kind of murder spree starting with Yours Truly.
The crying goes on. And on. And on.
The little guy perks up somewhat significantly half an hour before bedtime or when his dad gets home, whichever comes first. I can’t help but feel the perking up when Dad gets home is a personal attack to make the ‘satan child has awoken’ texts look massively melodramatic.
So what to do? Yeah, I know, I know – it’s just a phase. But I like a solution and this phase is a problem, not to mention inconvenient, so listed below are the different approaches one can take in order to address the Post Nap Crying.
The Snow White
Attitude = Disney princess dealing with grumpy dwarf. Fondly stroke child’s face whilst a dove perches on your shoulder and a deer nuzzles against your hand. Violins chirping in the background if poss.
What child? Get on with household jobs and pretend that no one’s wailing is stabbing at your eardrums and irritating the hell out of you. Merrily talk to other people present as if you are slightly deranged or incredibly hard of hearing.
Get pissed off despite yourself. Start threatening with naughty step, withdrawal of toys and eventually legal action.
What’s that? WOW look at THAT, that is INCREDIBLE, I have NEVER EVER EVER seen a, ummmm, toaster/dog/shoe (whatever is in immediate visual vicinity) like that before.
Whatever you want you can have kiddo. Toys? Telly time? a new Ferrari? Take it, it’s yours.
Get food into the child as soon as and by any means necessary. Have complete disregard to sugar content, amount or method. Feed the child large slabs of chocolate cake with your hands ASAP.
The NO nap
Do whatever you can to keep that child awake. Dress as a hula hula girl and dance on the kitchen counter if you have too. Keep that child awake until bedtime. Do NOT, I repeat, do NOT fall victim to the 5pm, accidental, too close to bedtime to be a nap, nap. If you do, my thoughts are with you at this difficult time.
So if you have any other ideas about the best way to conquer the Post Nap Crying then please, for the love of my afternoon sanity, please let me know. All the above responses have had the same result for me (more post nap crying). The only variation has been proximity of the crying to my face (The Ignore = different room, The Snow White = 2 cm from face).
Time’s up reader, wish me well….