When I was growing up, my mother often said I wasn't getting enough sleep:
- You're grumpy! You haven’t been getting enough sleep.
- You're sick! Not enough sleep.
- You and your friend painted my bedroom dresser? With nail polish? Definitely not enough sleep.
Not getting enough sleep caused all of my problems.
When my brother and I were little, naps were mandatory. I was never tired. I didn’t want to stop playing with my Barbies. But my mother forced us to go to our rooms and have a lie down. She was so mean!
If we didn’t lie down quietly in our own beds, my mother made us lie down WITH HER in her bed. If this happened, I absolutely refused to go to sleep. I was very STUBBORN (or so I have been told). I lay in my parents’ bed until my mother finally got up, and then I got up too.
My brother was not so lucky. He tried very hard not to fall asleep, but he always failed. And the poor kid didn’t wake up for HOURS.
Now I am a parent, and I am determined to Do Things Differently. I don’t force the child, age 4, to lie down for Quiet Time. He is allowed to play quietly in his room.
But sometimes I feel a nap would be beneficial. And if I lie down with the child, sometimes he will go to sleep.
Most of the time, however, the child refuses to go to sleep. He is so mean! He wiggles and fidgets and wanders off to go get something, or go for a poop, or get a drink of water, until I finally give up, and QUIET TIME IS OVER.
Then I am cross, and I feel out of sorts for the rest of the afternoon.
So I finally get it. When I was little, those naps were not (necessarily) for me. And now that I can't stay up past 9:30, I understand why my parents put me to bed so early.
Parenting is such karmic payback. It’s a beyotch.